South Island rivalry, and last year’s loss at home, have the Crusaders respecting the Highlanders’ threat ahead of Friday’s DHL Super Rugby game in Christchurch. Scott Robertson started the week by reminding the Crusaders of the harsh lesson they were dealt the last time the Highlanders came to town.
Judging by the words of captain Scott Barrett and flankers Tom Christie and Ethan Blackadder this week, it’s fair to say they hadn’t forgotten.
Super Rugby Pacific: Crusaders vs Highlanders
Where: Orangetheory Stadiun, Christchurch.
When: Friday, April 1, 7.05pm.
Live coverage: Sky Sport 1, live updates on Stuff.
Little has changed ahead of Friday night’s rematch at Orangetheory Stadium.
How to watch Crusaders vs Highlanders Super Rugby 2022 , When does it start, Live streams and schedule
Again, nobody is giving the 0-5 Highlanders a sniff of jolting their campaign to life against the 4-1 Crusaders in a city they’ve won just five times in 23 attempts.
But don’t tell that to the Crusaders, who know all too well what Tony Brown’s team is capable of when their backs are against the wall amidst adversity.
However, like the almost 14,000 punters who turned up, he could barely believe what was unfolding in front of his eyes, as the Highlanders punished the error-ridden Crusaders at a ground they’re practically unbeatable.
Nobody had given the Highlanders a chance. Not after the week they’d had, one in which head coach Tony Brown suspended six players for breaching team protocol.
Crusaders: Will Jordan, Sevu Reece, Leicester Fainga’anuku, David Havili, George Bridge, Richie Mo’unga, Mitchell Drummond, Cullen Grace, Tom Christie, Ethan Blackadder, Quinten Strange, Scott Barrett (c), Fletcher Newell, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody.
Reserves: Shilo Klein, George Bower, Tamaiti Williams, Zach Gallagher, Pablo Matera, Bryn Hall, Fergus Burke, Braydon Ennor.
Highlanders: Connor Garden-Bachop, Sam Gilbert, Fetuli Paea, Scott Gregory, Mosese Dawai, Mitch Hunt, Aaron Smith (c); Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, James Lentjes, Shannon Frizell, Josh Dickson, Bryn Evans, Josh Hohneck, Andrew Makalio, Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Reserves: Rhys Marshall, Ethan de Groot, Jermaine Ainsley, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, Gareth Evans, Folau Fakatava, Marty Banks, Denny Solomona.