Crusaders vs Blues: Super Rugby Aotearoa key head-to-heads | Rugby Union News

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Last Updated: 09/07/20 4:57pm

Hoskins Sotutu, Sam Whitelock, Beauden Barrett and much more – Saturday’s Crusaders vs Blues clash is full of quality players

From prop to full-back, we look at some of the key match-ups before Saturday’s pivotal Super Rugby Aotearoa clash between the Crusaders and Blues, live on Sky Sports.

Whetu Douglas vs Hoskins Sotutu

There’s little debate that Blues No 8 Sotutu has been the standout player in Super Rugby Aotearoa to date – but against the Crusaders pack by themselves turf, he’ll face a vastly different challenge.

Hoskins Sotutu has made a serious name for himself to date in Super Rugby Aotearoa

Hoskins Sotutu has made quite a name for himself so far in Super Rugby Aotearoa

His direct opposite number on Saturday will undoubtedly be Douglas, a person who perhaps not that way back when was the talk of Super Rugby in New Zealand – if not to the same extent as 21-year-old Sotutu.

Brought in as injury cover from Waikato in 2017 for the injured Kieran Read, Douglas impressed so much at the back of the Crusaders scrum, they wanted a permanent deal signed. The No 8 had already devoted to a contract in Italy with Benetton, however.

In 2019, he came ultimately back to the Crusaders with Read now moved on to Japan considering that the 2019 World Cup, Douglas will be trying to put down a marker.

No 8 Whetu Douglas rejoined the Crusaders in 2019 from Benetton in Italy

No 8 Whetu Douglas rejoined the Crusaders in 2019 from Benetton in Italy

As such, Sotutu vs Douglas is sure to be one to monitor.

David Havili vs Beauden Barrett

If Sotutu has recently been the most remarkable forward via Super Rugby Aotearoa, after that perhaps the greatest back have been Crusaders full-back Will Jordan. Despite of which, Jordan begins on the counter on Saturday though.

As an outcome, Havili makes the jerk to start from 15, facing All Blacks playmaker Barrett in Christchurch.

Beauden Barrett astonished the world simply by signing a new four-year deal with the Blues

Beauden Barrett surprised the entire world by placing your signature to a 4 year contract with all the Blues

Barrett talks settling within at the Blues and existence in Auckland

Barrett chats moving in in the Blues plus life within Auckland

Since their shock move, Barrett is continuing to grow in terms of impact and top quality of efficiency in a Blues jersey, and will be scratching to lead their new teammates to what might be a statement outcome away in the reigning three-time champions.

The statements from a Crusaders perspective might be on the omission of Jordan, but Havili is no gentle touch. Indeed, the 25-year-old has been key to name successes within 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Crusaders full-back David Havili starts at 15 against the Blues on Saturday

Crusaders full-back David Havili starts from 15 from the Blues about Saturday

Both smart, both fast and the two skilful. Who will stick out more?

Sam Whitelock vs Patrick Tuipulotu

In terms associated with talismanic 2nd row statistics in New Zealand game at the moment, seek out Whitelock from the Crusaders plus Tuipulotu from the Blues.

For a long period, Whitelock have been one of the leading performers not only in Super Rugby, yet on the globe stage plus Test degree. His strength, physicality, work-ethic and set-piece nous is usually outstanding.

Sam Whitelock has been one of the most consistent performers in world rugby

Sam Whitelock have been one of the most steady performers on planet rugby

Since the beginning of Super Rugby Aotearoa, Blues skipper Tuipulotu’s performances apparently have gone to a new level. The lock has been doing sensational contact form and is an essential leader within Blues rates high.

Whomever of Whitelock or Tuipulotu – both demonstrable package leaders of the respective sides – can marshal their forwards the higher and get the lineout functioning the slicker, will almost certainly be on the winning side.

Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu has led his side fantastically

Blues chief Patrick Tuipulotu has led their side very well

Joe Moody vs Ofa Tuungafasi

As is really often the case within rugby, the particular scrum would have been a vital aspect of Saturday’s come across.

As was demonstrated in the 2019 Rugby World Cup ultimate between England and South Africa, you just cannot succeed a game associated with rugby with no competing scrum.

The Crusaders package has been around the particular block and it has dominated over a near-regular foundation. The Blues meanwhile, have got struggled significantly in this aspect in recent years.

Crusaders loosehead prop Joe Moody is part of a fearsome pack

Crusaders loosehead brace Joe Moody is portion of a fearsome pack

That is not the case within 2020, however, and most certainly not during Super Rugby Aotearoa.

The critical match-up on Saturday will be encountered Crusaders loosehead Moody facing Blues tighthead Tuungafasi. If one can acquire an edge, the overall game will likely golf swing in their side’s favour.

Blues tighthead Ofa Tu’ungafasi has been in superb form

Blues tighthead Ofa Tu’ungafasi has been doing superb contact form

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