Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has named an unchanged side from the team that took the field in their 38-14 Super Rugby quarter-final victory over the Highlanders.
The Canterbury-based franchise is preparing for its semi-final on Saturday against the Hurricanes and their matchday 23 includes 27-year old loose forward Jordan Taufua, who has been named on the bench and is poised to make what would be his 100th appearance for the Crusaders.
Taufua will depart New Zealand at the end of the season to take up a contract in England with Leicester. Tim Perry, who was ruled out of last week’s quarter-final, is once again unavailable for this match due to an arm injury.
Robertson said the team has shown the Hurricanes plenty of respect with its preparations for the semi-final: “We have really enjoyed this week. The group came in excited to have earned another opportunity to play at home and we’ve prepared accordingly for this quality Hurricanes side.
“They are well-coached with genuine attacking threats across the park, so we know there is a massive challenge ahead of us this weekend.
S E M I F I N A L ?? No changes from last weekend while Jordan is set to play his 100th match! Don’t miss any of the action live – tickets available online at https://t.co/5HtYqSqD1c and read more at https://t.co/Yd8xaF8BgC #CRUvHUR #finalsfooty #crusadeon pic.twitter.com/7l7kKezQFG
— BNZ Crusaders (@crusadersrugby) June 27, 2019
“We’re also really proud of Jordan, who’ll become the 18th Crusader to play 100 games for the club. He has been a loyal Crusader for a number of years now and sharing this milestone with him on Saturday night will certainly add to the occasion for our squad and our fans.
“The game has been well supported and we’re going to need every single one of our fans to get behind this team on Saturday night – we look forward to seeing them there in numbers!”
CRUSADERS: 15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Samuel Whitelock (c), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody. Reps: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 George Bower, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jordan Taufua*, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Braydon Ennor.
WATCH: Ryan Crotty’s media session ahead of Crusaders’ Super Rugby semi-final showdown versus the Hurricanes
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