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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Preview
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
Friday , September 5
Tasman vs Waikato18:05
Northland vs Hawkes Bay20:05
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 Waikato
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00