Thursday, March 22, 2012

Crusaders v Cheetahs March 22, 2012

Rugby League Park, Christchurch, Saturday 5.35pm (AEDT)

Last meeting: Round 13 2011 - Cheetahs 33 bt Crusaders 20 at Vodacom Park

Head-to-head: Played 7 Crusaders 5 Cheetahs 2

In Christchurch: Played 3 Crusaders 3 Cheetahs 0

Referee: Keith Brown (NZL)

Greg Growden writes: The gigantic former Springbok prop and now Cheetahs forwards coach Os du Randt has an interesting reason for why the Crusaders have started slowly. They are apparently suffering from a World Cup hangover. Unfortunately for the big Ox, the Crusaders are now off the bubbles, and with Dan Carter back, should roll the visitors.

AAP writes: You get the feeling the Cheetahs are in for a long night up against the Crusaders this week. It's their return to Christchurch and star five-eighth Dan Carter is back on deck, albeit off the interchange bench. The town is buzzing with excitement with a packed house anticipated, and what was already going to be a tough road trip, will become a daunting experience for the South Africans.

The Cheetahs aren't without hope though, and they'll take encouragement from their last-gasp win over the Rebels in Melbourne last week. Israel Dagg moves reverts to fullback, which should help the Crusaders attack find their step again this season.

CRUSADERS: Israel Dagg, Sean Maitland, Robbie Fruean, Ryan Crotty, Zac Guildford, Tom Taylor, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (c), Matt Todd, Luke Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks. Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Wyatt Crockett, Ross Kennedy, Brendon O'Connor, Willi Heinz, Dan Carter, Tom Marshall.

CHEETAHS: Hennie Daniller, Cameron Jacobs, Robert Ebersohn, Andries Strauss, Willie le Roux, Johan Goosen, Tewis de Bruyn, Philip van der Walt, Justin Downey, Heinrich Brüssow, Izak van der Westhuizen, George Earle, Lourens Adriaanse, Adriaan Strauss (capt), Trevor Nyakane. Reserves: Hercu Liebenberg, Coenie Oosthuizen, Andries Ferreira, Ashley Johnson, Piet van Zyl, Sias Ebersohn, Ryno Benjamin.

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