The Crusaders have recalled All Black Joe Moody to their line-up for Saturday's sem-final against the Hurricanes.
The Crusaders have recalled All Black Joe Moody to their line-up for Saturday's sem-final against the Hurricanes.

Crusaders, Hurricanes name teams for Super Rugby semi

THE Crusaders have recalled Joe Moody for Saturday's opening semi-final after the All Blacks loosehead prop missed the quarter-final win over the Sharks with a knee injury.

Moody has replaced Tim Perry in the starting line-up, with Perry dropping to the bench and Wyatt Crockett forced out of the squad.

That is the only change to Scott Robertson's champion side, with winger Seta Tamanivalu cleared to play after suffering a head knock last week.

"Everyone who has worn the jersey for us this season has performed so this was the hardest team to name because of the great depth we have in our squad," Robertson said.

"Joe has worked extremely hard to get back in time for finals footy, and he joins a powerful forward pack, who are ready for the challenge on Saturday night.

"It's always a privilege to play at home, but to host a semifinal in front of our fans adds another level of anticipation and pride to the mix.

"Our fans have been right behind us all season and we're excited to once again play for them in this week's semi-final."

Meanwhile, flanker Ardie Savea has been bracketed on the Hurricanes' bench with Reed Prinsep. Savea continues to progress from an ankle injury.

The starting line-up is unchanged as Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd resisted the temptation to name Wes Goosen at outside centre after the utility back came off the bench in the quarter-final win over the Chiefs.

That would have allowed Jordie Barrett to revert to his preferred position at fullback.

"I personally believe he (Barrett) is a better 15, but he likes the midfield and he did enough for me last week to suggest that was the right way for us to start," Boyd said.

"I'm sure it won't be the way we finish."

SEMIFINAL 1: CRUSADERS v HURRICANES in Christchurch, Saturday 5.35pm AEST

CRUSADERS (15-1): David Havili, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Bryn Hall, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua, Sam Whitelock (c), Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody

Reserves: Andrew Makalio, Tim Perry, Michael Alaalatoa, Luke Romano, Pete Samu, Mitchell Drummond, Mitchell Hunt, Braydon Ennor

HURRICANES (15-1): Nehe Milner-Skudder, Julian Savea, Jordie Barrett, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Blade Thomson, Gareth Evans, Brad Shields (c), Sam Lousi, Michael Fatialofa, Jeff To'omaga-Allen, Ricky Riccitelli, Toby Smith

Reserves: James O'Reilly, Chris Eves, Ben May, Vaea Fifita, Ardie Savea/Reed Prinsep, Jamie Booth, Ihaia West, Wes Goosen

Referee: Jaco Peyper (SA). Venue: AMI Stadium

STATS THAT MATTER

Head to head: Crusaders 19 wins, Hurricanes 12 wins, two draws

- The Hurricanes have won eight of their past 12 match-ups

- The Crusaders have won all four of their previous finals match-ups

- The teams met in the infamous 2006 "fog final" in Christchurch, won 19-12 by the Crusaders

- The Crusaders have won 13 straight games in 2018, three games shy of their franchise record set in 2005-6.

- The Crusaders have won their past 18 home games dating back to 2016, when they lost 35-10 to the Hurricanes

- The Crusaders have never lost a finals game at home, winning all 19

- The Hurricanes have never won an away finals match against New Zealand opposition (0/5)

- Hurricanes prop Toby Smith will earn his 100th Super Rugby cap in this match

- Hurricanes winger Julian Savea requires one try to reach 50 in Super Rugby

- The Crusaders have a 78.6% winning percentage under Peyper (11 wins, three losses)

- The Hurricanes have a 36.4% winning percentage under Peyper (four wins, seven losses)



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