Super Rugby: Melbourne Rebels v Crusaders Preview , kick off and live stream Scores
location: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Date:May 4th, 2018
Start Time: 5:45 EDT/10:45 BST
TV Channel :CBS, Fox, Espn, BBC, Sports TV
Tonight the Crusaders go into Melbourne to take on the Rebels in round five of the Super Rugby season. Join us here at 7.30pm AEDT for scores, live blog and commentary.
The Rebels played one of the best matches of their short existence in Round 3 of the competition – their first outing this year. Last week they laid an egg.
That was an egg as in a 25-point beating, where the game was over after about 30 minutes. The Rebels scored their seven points in the 80th minute.
Not a whole lot to take away from that match except they aren’t good enough for wholesale rotation to be a successful tactic against other outfits first XV and they “won the second half”. No one wants to say “we won the second half”, that’s just avoiding the issue.
On the other hand the Crusaders have been in scratchy form as well. They did sneak home against the Stormers last week in a match where they started to put together some sequences of more fluid rugby.
The Stormers defence only let the Crusaders through for a single try, despite numerous breaks and other opportunities. The Rebels will have to be at their absolute best to defend that well.
The backline of the Crusaders has been a problem so far this year, both in terms of leaking tries and not being potent enough when opportunities present when they have possession.
For this match Todd Blackadder’s selections may be the best back squadron they’ve put on the park. Colin Slade moves to fly-half, Tom Taylor slides out to 12 and Ryan Crotty to 13. Then Johnny McNicholl, Nafi Tiutavake and Israel Dagg fill out the back three.
The Rebels will be relying on the experienced Tamati Ellison to keep the backline in check and find the weak-spots out wide.
All that aside, the forward packs are where rugby games are usually won. And this match will be no different.
After belting the Cheetahs around a bit the Rebels pack went missing for the first half against the Force. If that’s the case again tonight the Crusaders will eat them up.
Names like Wyatt Crockett, Owen Franks, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock, Matt Todd and Keiran Read populate the Crusaders pack. That’s a lot of experience, possibly the best player in the world and a powerful second row all stacked in one.
The Rebels will need another stand-out performance from Scott Higginbotham, their captain. Additionally Luke Jones and Hugh Pyle will need to lift to combat a fearsome second row.
The Crusaders might just sneak home for an away win here, but the match should be close and exciting.
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