Super Rugby Final Preview: Crusaders v Jaguares

Getty Images

Thursday, July 4, 2019    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Match Details:
Crusaders v Jaguares, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch, 7.35pm, Saturday July 6

Played: 2
Won: Crusaders 2, Jaguares 0
Last time: Jaguares 14-40 Crusaders, Buenos Aires, April 7, 2018
Referee: Jaco Peyper


Defending champions the Crusaders have lost only twice this season, to the Waratahs (12-20) and the Chiefs (27-40) while having two draws and one abandoned game. The Jaguares lost five times but showed late season consistency in completing 11 wins from their last 12 games when beating the Brumbies 39-7 at home in last weekend's semifinal. Defence will be a key for both sides. They are the two sides to have conceded fewest points in the competition – the Crusaders (17.5 per game) and the Jaguares (20.8). Only the Blues (18.6) and the Sharks (19.9) missed fewer tackles all year than the Crusaders (20.3) and the Jaguares (21.4). In the two teams, flanker Matt Todd has made most tackles (181), the fourth highest in the competition, which is seven more than Marcos Kremer.


Injuries to lock Scott Barrett and second five-eighths Ryan Crotty have forced the only changes to the Crusaders side. Barrett's place is taken by Mitchell Dunshea while Jack Goodhue has moved in one position to second five-eighths allowing new All Black Braydon Ennor to play at centre. One surprise is the choice of Will Jordan, back from injury, in the reserves. Coach Scott Robertson said: "This is going to be a massive challenge against a tough Jaguares side, and there has been plenty of energy in our environment this week. This is the Jaguares first final so they'll have plenty of motivation and will be buoyed by the support of their passionate fans. The occasion isn't lost on anyone in our group, it's exciting and really special to be involved in a final."
The Jaguares have made three changes to the team that beat the Brumbies in the semifinal. Marcos Kremer returns to openside flanker for Tomas Lezana, prop Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro replaces Mayco Vivas and Ramiro Moyano will play on the left wing ahead of Sebastian Cancelliere. Captain Jeronimo de la Fuente said there was a lot of excitement in the team ahead of the game and whenever players got together that was all they were talking about. "We are not going to change the way we play. We have put together a plan that we believe will be appropriate for this game. We have based it on us, not the opposition. Our gam e will be the same as we have built on throughout the season," he said.


The Super Rugby final has only twice been won by a team playing outside their home country and on both occasions it was the Crusaders who succeeded; against the Brumbies in 2000 and the Lions in 2017.
While the Crusaders are making their 14th appearance in a Super Rugby final, the next highest is the Brumbies in six, the Jaguares are in their first. Only four teams have won the final at their first attempt: the Blues in 1996, the Crusaders in 1998, the Bulls in 2007 and the Reds in 2011.


1.Joe Moody, 2.Codie Taylor, 3.Owen Franks, 4.Mitchell Dunshea, 5.Samuel Whitelock (captain), 6.Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7.Matt Todd, 8.Kieran Read, 9.Bryn Hall, 10.Richie Mo'unga, 11.George Bridge, 12.Jack Goodhue, 13.Braydon Ennor, 14.Sevu Reece, 15.David Havili.
Substitutes: 16.Andrew Makalio, 17.George Bower, 18.Michael Alaalatoa, 19.Luke Romano, 20.Jordan Taufua, 21.Mitchell Drummond, 22.Mitchell Hunt, 23.Will Jordan.

1.Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2.Agustin Creevy, 3.Santiago Medrano, 4.Guido Petti, 5. Tomas Lavanini, 6.Pablo Matera 7.Marcos Kremer, 8.Javier Ortega Desio, 9.Tomas Cubelli, 10.Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 11.Ramiro Moyano, 12.Jeronimo De La Fuente (captain) 13.Matias Orlando 14.Matias Moroni, 15.Emiliano Boffelli.
Substitutes: 16.Julian Montoya, 17.Mayco Vivas, 18.Enrique Pieretto, 19.Juan Manuel Laguizamon, 20.Tomas Lezana, 21.Felipe Ezcurra, 22.Domingo Miotti, 23.Sebastian Cancelliere.