25th September 12:40 PM
Win streak and All Black spots on the line during Chiefs - Crusaders showdown
By Semi Turaga
Friday 19/05/2017
Sam Cane of the Chiefs and Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock

The BNZ Crusaders will hope to make it 12 Super Rugby wins in a row this season when they take on the Gallagher Chiefs at the ANZ Stadium in Suva tonight.

Last season’s clash in Fiji was affected by the wet weather but this year’s forecast looks much more promising as passionate fans are already turning out in numbers at the stadium to see many of their heroes.

Crusaders pair Setareki Tamanivalu and Manasa Mataele are set to get a warm welcome at the ANZ Stadium.

The most recent clash between these teams was in Suva last year in a game played in poor weather conditions and the Chiefs won 23‑13.

There will also be a brutal battle tonight for positions in the All Blacks squad for the British and Irish Lions tour in June.

About 21 players who have represented the All Blacks will play tonight.

For the Chiefs it is Nathan Harris, Dominic Bird, Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr‑Barlow, Aaron Cruden, Anton Lienert‑Brown, Damian McKenzie, Hika Elliot, Liam Messam and Stephen Donald.

While the All Blacks players in the Crusaders team includes Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock, Matt Todd, Richie Mo'unga, Ryan Crotty, Seta Tamanivalu and Wyatt Crockett.

The Chiefs have won nine out of their ten matches so far this season and also have the best defence in the competition, having conceded just 190 points.

Chiefs Coach Dave Rennie believes it will come down to the battle up front in the tight five.

On the other hand, the Crusaders who have played one game more than the Chiefs, are flying with 11 victories out of 11.

The Crusaders average six tries per game.

Crusaders forwards coach Jason Ryan says this match will be brutal.

The Chiefs will host the Crusaders at 7.35 tonight at the ANZ Stadium. Gates are already open.

Meanwhile the stretch of road from the junction of Queen Elizabeth Drive to the junction of Grantham Road in Suva has been closed.

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