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Season on the line for the Crusaders in Christchurch

Season on the line for the Crusaders in Christchurch

All BlacksApril 26, 2024

Desperation will face both the Crusaders and the Rebels when they meet in Christchurch on Friday in DHL Super Rugby Pacific.

The defending champions have slumped to last place in the competition but still see themselves as playoff contenders. To achieve that, they must beat the fourth-placed Rebels.

But the Rebels have their issues. Despite off-field dramas regarding their future, they have arguably overachieved in the competition and face a testing run with the Crusaders, Blues (home), Reds, Chiefs (home), Brumbies, and Drua before they can claim a playoff spot.

The Rebels' firepower has seen them post 40 points or more in their last two games, and they have the incentive to extend their winning streak to four games, something they have never achieved.

However, statistics show the Crusaders have dominated games between the sides, with only one loss in their last 10 games and an unbroken string of seven wins. And, in those seven wins the Crusaders have averaged 55 points a game.

The Crusaders welcome back captain and lock Scott Barrett from injury. Midfield back David Havili will make his return from the bench. 

Can't wait to connect at home with you this Friday ☝🏼

2 for 1 Tickets: https://t.co/hIDlL17byw pic.twitter.com/oHi26IAt5m

— Crusaders (@crusadersrugby) April 24, 2024

No8 Cullen Grace will play his 50th Crusaders game with loosies Ethan Blackadder and Christian Lio-Willie. 

Rivez Reihana is starting at first-five-eighths while Heremaia Murray is on the left wing, and Johnny McNicholl will have his first start since his return at fullback.

Rebels coach Kevin Foote told rugby.com.au. that he was impressed with how the Crusaders defended in their 15-37 loss to the Force last week.

"They'll be stinging...and we're under no illusions about what's coming and what we'll have to do. 

"We've done well over this first block, and now we're halfway up the mountain."

Crusadersv Rebels: Friday 26 April, 7.05pm, Apollo Projects Stadium, Christchurch

A full platter of #SuperRugbyPacific for Anzac Weekend Round!

Which game are you looking forward to most? pic.twitter.com/RUz8oZTEdZ

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) April 23, 2024

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