No changes from Crusaders

25th Jul 2013, 06:31

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Keeps his spot: Matt Todd

Keeps his spot: Matt Todd

The Crusaders have stuck with the same matchday 22 that powered past the Reds for this week's semi-final against the Chiefs.

The Crusaders have stuck with the same matchday 22 that powered past the Reds for this week's Super Rugby semi-final with the Chiefs in Hamilton.

Last Saturday's 38-9 win clearly delighted head coach Todd Blackadder, who decides not to tinker with his side for this New Zealand derby clash.

Consequently, Matt Todd keeps his place on the openside flank alongside George Whitelock and Kieran Read, with Richie McCaw on the bench.

Elsewhere and backline quartet Andy Ellis, Dan Carter, Ryan Crotty and Tom Marshall will look to carry their recent excellent form into Hamilton.

With both sides vying to secure themselves a place in the final it will be an intense, physical and passionate battle. The Crusaders have previously met the Chiefs on 21 occasions with the Crusaders winning two-thirds of these encounters and scoring on average nine points more a game than their Waikato counterparts. However the Chiefs have won the last three of the four encounters and won when it counted, in last year's semi-final, putting an end to the Crusaders title hopes.

More recently the two sides have met on two occasions this season and have come out level pegging with a win a piece. They last met in round nineteen of the competition when the Crusaders came away with emphatic 43-15 win. Since then the Crusaders have hit their straps and have won their last five matches in a row.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Luke Whitelock, 19 Richie McCaw, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tyler Bleyendaal, 22 Adam Whitelock.

Date: Saturday, July 27
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT)
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand
Referee: Steve Walsh
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson, Chris Pollock
TMO: Glenn Newman