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Game preview: Round 13 Crusaders v Brumbies


Boy, have we gone back and forth with the Brumbies over the years. This’ll be our 30th game against the Canberra locals, AND we’ve met them in no less than three Super Rugby finals.


By the sounds of it, the Brumbies have gathered all but one of the 2004 squad who tipped us over for their second title win. They’d have been bitter too, having come lost two finals to us in three years.


Now they mark 20 years since their last title, while we wrestle our way out of the doldrums to attempt an eighth straight. It’s only up from here.




Rivez and Macca have both been ruled out for medical reasons, opening the door for the next man up to take their opportunities.


Taha Kemara will take the 22 spot on the bench, while Taine Robinson is looking at a debut in the 23 jersey.



Fergus Burke is starting at 10, his first on-field shift of the season, while David Havili drops back to second five.



We beat the Brumbies 35-17 in our last encounter. It was Round 5 at home in Christchurch. We’ve won 10 of our last 10 meetings, the biggest margin being back in 2016 when we won 40-14 at Gio Stadium where we play again Saturday. Codie Taylor scored twice in that contest – what can we expect from our captain this week?



James Slipper returns to the Brumbies starting XV, an absolute veteran of Australian rugby. The tighthead prop will meet none other than our own veteran Joe Moody. Expect big impacts with these two roaming the paddock.


Allan Ala’alatoa has been with the Brumbies since 2014 and will once again pull on the No 3 jersey to square up against Fletcher Newell. Allan of course is the younger brother of Michael Ala’alatoa who played more than 90 games for the Crusaders.


Noah Hotham has starting halfback duties for this one, coming up against Ryan Lonergan in the Brumbies colours. Lonergan has been their choice halfback for years since debuting in 2017. Meanwhile, Hotham is staking a huge claim to the nine jersey in his second season with the Crusaders. Watch this space.




We are pumped to see what 2024 Fergus Burke can do. This boy is fresh and ready to kick some pill between the uprights before he shoots off to Saracens at the end of the NPC season. He’ll face off against Noah Lolesio, an accomplished kicker for both the Brumbies and Wallabies.



Kick off: 2.35pm (4.35pm New Zealand time)

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe

Assistant referees: Stu Curran, Jackson Henshaw