Free Super Rugby Crusaders vs Auckland Blues Live Streaming 2017 Online Rugby Union , at AMI Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday 17 March 2017, Time 17:35 (AEDT). Free Crusaders vs Auckland Blues super rugby 2017 all match live stream online on your pc/laptop.2017 Super Rugby Broadcast On coverage on Fox Sports,Sky Sports, SuperSport, DIRECTV, BSkyB, Setanta Sports.
Tana Umaga’s side are not bottom of the New Zealand Conference – that surprisingly belongs to the Highlanders – but after the way they tore apart the Rebels in Round 1 expectations around the team have peaked and since subsided.
They might just fancy an upset however this weekend heading to AMI Stadium given the litany of injuries suffered by the Crusaders, the latest of which concerning Israel Dagg sees the All Black ruled out for six weeks.
That has left the Crusaders with a youthful backline which includes match-winning hero Mitch Hunt, who stepped up to see off the Reds with that late penalty in Brisbane for a 22-20 win
Coping without the likes of Dagg, Seta Tamanivalu and Richie Mo’unga is a tough ask for a young group, which puts the onus on the All Blacks tight five, spearheaded by Sam Whitelock and Owen Franks.
Everything about their season so far has been rock solid, from finishing well in the top half in most of Opta’s statistical categories and leading the way for the most offloads in the competition as well.
Their defence however will need to be excellent against a dangerous Blues side featuring Augustine Pulu’s sniping breaks and the talent of Rieko Ioane in midfield.
That said, the Crusaders have every right to feel confident about their chances. The Crusaders have won their last five games against the Blues, the longest winning streak of either side in the history of the fixture.
And they have won seven of their last eight games on home turf, scoring an average of 5.4 tries per game in that span.
The last time these teams met: Ihaia West snatched a late losing bonus point for the Blues in a 21-26 home defeat, with Mo’unga’s boot playing a key role as he finished with 16 points off the tee. Nemani Nadolo and Andy Ellis both scored for the Crusaders, while West and Moala both crossed for the Blues.
Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Jed Brown, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Sean Wainui
Blues: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 George Moala, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Jimmy Tupou, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 James Parsons (c), 1 Pauliasi Manu
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Akira Ioane, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Ihaia West, 23 TJ Faiane