Crusaders vs British & Irish Lions
Competition: British & Irish Lions tour
Date: 10 June 2017
Kick-off: 09:35 CET
The British and Irish Lions had a real bad taste of what New Zealand Rugby is all about when they faced the Blues and lost, something that is not expected. It does not get any easier as the much tougher Crusaders are up next and could cause more misery.
The Lions have at least made a bold call by naming a team that looks to be as close as possible to what they would start in the Tests against the All Blacks coming up. It has been a rocky start for Warren Gatland and his team as they have picked up a win against the New Zealand Barbarians, but it was very unimpressive and the Barbarians were not a very well known team. Against the Blues, it was an enthralling game, but the team chosen was outshone by some of the bigger names in New Zealand Rugby. The Lions can be happy with seeing improvement after their first showing, but it is not good enough for a team of this magnitude to be losing against club teams. Against the Crusaders, the Lions will meet a team that has not lost this year, and won’t be planning on losing wither now.
For the Crusaders, this is really a great test of their drive and mettle. They are a young team, and a team going through transition, but they have done so excellently, brushing aside every challenge that has come their way. The Crusaders are not only the top ranked team in Super Rugby they are undefeated, and more importantly, the top ranked team by some way in the New Zealand group. This young team, under the leadership of their coach Scott Robinson, will be at their best when taking on such a good looking Lions team, and if they can keep their unbeaten record, it really will be a turn up for the books.
Crusaders vs British & Irish Lions: Team News
The Lions have made huge changes as to be expected from the Blues match, bringing in some of their big hitters. Captained by Welsh legend Alun Wyn-Jones, the Lions also have the likes of Owen Farrell, Ben Te’o, Conor Murray and Jonathan Davies.
For the Crusaders, they have stuck to a team that would not be to unfamiliar in the Super Rugby competition with a host of All Blacks such as Joe Moody, Sam Whitelock, Cody Taylor and Israel Dagg. Nine All Blacks in total.
Crusaders vs British & Irish Lions: Prediction
If the Blues game was a challenge for the Lions, then the Crusaders will be much harder for them. The Saders have a great team culture going and have had their backs against the wall and still won. The Lions have strengthened their team, and cannot actually afford to lose as then they will be given no hope when the All Blacks line them up.
Crusaders vs British & Irish Lions: Tips
The selection of Ben Te’o is key, he is the line breaker and will likely be on hand to score a vital try.