LIVE

    Crusaders target Kerr-Barlow

    2012-07-26 09:09

    Hamilton - The Crusaders have singled out Chiefs scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow as the danger man when the elite of New Zealand rugby open the Super 15 semi-finals this weekend.

    The seven-time champion Crusaders play the Chiefs in a New Zealand derby in Hamilton on Friday while the Sharks face the table-topping Stormers in Cape Town in the second semi-final on Saturday.

    The Crusaders, who reached the semi-finals with a decisive 28-13 win over the Bulls last weekend, know their way around the knockout stages of the tournament.

    They are Super rugby's benchmark side having made the play-offs 14 times in the 17-year history of the competition.

    They also beat the Chiefs in their most recent encounter, a round-robin match three weeks ago and also played on the Chiefs' homeground in Hamilton.

    It was a match which underlined how, at the business end of the competition, the Crusaders know how to lift their set piece to get the most out of an All Blacks-laden pack and minimise their error rate.

    "I really back our set piece. We've been consistent all year there," said coach Todd Blackadder while noting the ability of Kerr-Barlow to ignite a potent Chiefs backline.

    "I think their 9 (Kerr-Barlow) is the key to their game," he said.

    "He has had an outstanding season and Aaron Cruden and Sonny Bill (Williams) give them all their go-forward.

    "But I think if you focus one area you can often take your eye off the ball. They are a complete side. They play smart rugby."

    While the Crusaders are a proven force they have not won a title in the past three years, and the Chiefs say they know what is required to win after being outmuscled in their last meeting but only losing 28-21.

    "We've had a good look at what we were planning to do that game and now it is a case of putting it out on the park," coach Dave Rennie said.

    The Chiefs have only twice made the playoffs, losing to the Brumbies in the 2004 semi-finals before being thrashed by the Bulls 61-17 in 2009, but Rennie is not fazed by past performances.

    "We are where we wanted to be, it is fantastic that we are at home and in with a chance to play in the final," he said.

    The Crusaders have made only one change to the side which beat the Bulls a week ago, with their regular rotation of All Blacks props seeing Ben Franks coming in for his brother Owen to partner Wyatt Crockett.

    Kieran Read remains sidelined with a fractured rib, leaving Richie McCaw at the back of the scrum.

    The Chiefs, who have had a week to rest up since the end of the regular season, have made four changes to the run off team beaten by the Wellington Hurricanes in their last outing which cost them top seeding in the play-offs.

    Prop Sona Taumalolo and hooker Mahonri Schwalger return to the front row, Andrew Horrell is reunited in the centres with Sonny Bill Williams and Asaeli Tikoirotuma is on the wing with Robbie Robinson moving back to fullback.

    Former All Blacks flank Tanerau Latimer remains in the number seven jersey meaning the new heir apparent to McCaw, Sam Cane, is on the bench.

    Another boost for the Chiefs from their last outing against the Crusaders is the return of lock Craig Clarke and backrower Kane Thompson to bolster their lineout.

    Read More On:  crusaders chiefs super 15 rugby

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    4 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read
    Commented
    /Sport

    Fixtures

    13 February 2015
    • Crusaders v Melbourne Rebels, Christchurch 08:35
    • Brumbies v Reds, Canberra 10:40
    • Lions v Hurricanes, Johannesburg 19:10
    14 February 2015
    • Blues v Chiefs, Albany 08:35
    • Sharks v Cheetahs, Durban 17:05
    • Bulls v Stormers, Pretoria 19:10
    15 February 2015
    • Waratahs v Western Force, Sydney 07:05

    Results

    02 August 2014
    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Does the Waratahs' Super Rugby victory give the Wallabies an edge heading into the Rugby Championship?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.