Planet Rugby

Preview: Brumbies v Crusaders

03rd May 2013 11:21

Share:

George Smith in 2004

Record man: George Smith

Two of the great Super Rugby outfits from over the years meet in Canberra as the Brumbies take on the seven-time champion Crusaders this Sunday.

Match-ups between men like George Gregan and Justin Marshall, Joe Roff and Marika Vunibaka and Stephen Larkham and Andrew Mehrtens have lasted long in the memory but it's interesting to see George Smith and Dan Carter poised to go at each other once again. Cue the rugby nostalgia.

It will be a special day for Smith as he will break scrum-half Gregan's record as the most capped Brumby when he moves onto 137 appearances.

Smith edges closer to his second British and Irish Lions series by the week. We'd pick him at six with Liam Gill or Michael Hooper wearing seven.

The Crusaders had the slight edge over the Brumbies in yesteryear but this season it's the men from Canberra hitting all the right notes while Sunday's visitors struggle for fluidity - so much so that they have been experimenting with changes that this week sees Israel Dagg dropped down to the replacements bench.

"It's just through poor form, he hasn't been playing that well so we have decided to take him out of the starting fifteen," said coach Todd Blackadder, who is not holding back in selection.

"It just comes down to form. Israel's had every opportunity to get out there and play well, he's not the only one that hasn't played to his full potential so far, but he's been inconsistent."

Robbie Fruean was the player to get a break last weekend against the Rebels but he returns at centre alongside Ryan Crotty, with Tom Taylor at fifteen in place of All Black Dagg.

The Brumbies meanwhile are sitting pretty at the top of the standings with just one defeat to their name so far - that draw against the Kings may still sting the Australian franchise.

Jake White has real quality in his group of that there is little doubt. No stars just a squad of hungry youngsters who are pushing for Test calls. Jesse Mogg will look to continue his rise alongside Henry Speight and Joe Tomane while Christian Lealiifano is a Wallaby 12.

White makes one change to his side this week as Dan Palmer returns at tighthead instead of Scott Sio as Ben Alexander moves to loosehead ahead of a mouth-watering showdown.

Prediction: On form we go with the hosts. Brumbies by 7!

The teams:

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 George Smith, 6 Fotu Auelua, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Peter Kimlin, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Leon Power, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Robbie Coleman, 22 Pat McCabe.

Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 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 Dominic Bird, 19 Jordan Taufua, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Adam Whitelock, 22 Israel Dagg.

Date: Sunday, May 5
Venue: Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 16:05 (07:05 BST, 06:05 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
Television match official: Matt Goddard (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs ToulonUlster vs Toulon Preview
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Bath vs ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs ConnachtExeter vs Connacht Preview
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615