Thursday, March 27, 2008

Round seven previews and teams

Sunday 30 Mar
Sha v Red 2.00am

Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Last meeting: Crusaders 23-13 in Christchurch, round 12, 2007

Always a fierce and eventful clash, with `Canes backrowers Jerry Collins, Rodney So'oialo and Chris Masoe going at it against their All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw and co. It's a big test of the fifth-placed Hurricanes seeking a fifth straight win but it's hard to see them beating Robbie Deans' undefeated Crusaders, who have been imperious under the new ELVs. The Crusaders regain fullback Leon McDonald from injury while Ma'a Nonu's back from suspension for the home team. Lock Ali Williams has been a great gain for an already mighty Crusaders pack, usually ensuring lineout dominance. Dan Carter is in good form and gives his team a strong edge as playmaker.

Hurricanes: Cory Jane, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Tamati Ellison, Shannon Paku, Jimmy Gopperth, Piri Weepu, Rodney So'oialo (captain), Chris Masoe, Jerry Collins, Jason Eaton, Craig Clarke, Neemia Tialata Andrew Hore, John Schwalger.
Reserves: Hikawera Elliot, Tim Fairbrother, Jeremy Thrush, Scott Waldrom, Alby Mathewson, Tane Tu'ipulotu, Hosea Gear.

Crusaders: Leon MacDonald, Scott Hamilton, Casey Laulala, Tim Bateman, Kade Poki, Daniel Carter, Andrew Ellis, Mose Tuiali'i, Richard McCaw (captain), Kieran Read, Ali Williams, Brad Thorn, Greg Somerville, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks.
Reserves: Ti'i Paulo, Wyatt Crockett, Michael Paterson, Nasi Manu, Kahn Fotuali'i, Caleb Ralph, Sean Maitland.

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