Friday, April 27, 2012

Waratahs v Crusaders

Allianz Stadium, Sydney, 4.10pm (AEST)

Last meeting: Round 3 2011 - Crusaders 33 bt Waratahs 18 at Trafalgar Park
Head-to-head: Played 18 Waratahs 14 Crusaders 4
In Sydney: Played 8 Waratahs 3 Crusaders 4
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (RSA)

Greg Growden writes: No wonder the Waratahs are edgy in Crusaders week, because their record against them is dreadful. So many Tahs have never experienced triumph against the Super Rugby powerhouse, and that's unlikely to change on a sunny Sunday.

AAP writes: It must be the halfway mark of the season ... the Crusaders are roaring. The seven-time champions were back in their groove against the Hurricanes, whipping up a 32-0 lead in the first half, and they'll like the prospect of an afternoon clash in Sydney. Dan Carter's move to inside centres has payed off, Israel Dagg and Zac Guildford are back hitting gaps, the scrum's demolishing rival packs and Kieran Read is at his peak. And that's not to mention that Richie McCaw will make his return off the bench. The Waratahs have lost key backs Rob Horne and Bernard Foley and will struggle to contain the visitors both out wide and up front.

WARATAHS (from): Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Peter Betham, Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Tom Carter, Rocky Elsom, Tom Kingston, Daniel Halangahu, Jono Jenkins, Sekope Kepu, Brendan McKibbin, Dean Mumm, Atieli Pakalani, Wycliff Palu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Sarel Pretorius, Benn Robinson (capt), Jeremy Tilse, Lopeti Timani, Sitaleki Timani, John Ulugia.

CRUSADERS: Israel Dagg, Adam Whitelock, Robbie Fruean, Dan Carter, Zac Guildford, Tom Taylor, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Luke Romano, Tom Donnelly, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett, Samuel Whitelock, Richie McCaw, Willi Heinz, Ryan Crotty, Tom Marshall.

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