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Round 10. Crusaders v W Force



Match of the round.
The Crusaders (sitting number 2 on the ladder) take on the Force (number 3 on the ladder) at home.
Last week the Tah’s showed that the Crusaders are not invincible while the Force easily beat the Sharks.
So far all games in WA have been close for the Crusaders and this week I think it will be the same.

One thing for sure, this won’t be over till the siren sounds.
Both teams are playing well and fingers crossed we get to see a good game of running rugby.
CRUSADERS: 15 Leon MacDonald, 14 Rico Gear, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Aaron Mauger, 11 Caleb Ralph, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Andrew Ellis; 8 Mose Tuiali'i, 7 Richie McCaw ©, 6 Reuben Thorne, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Ross Filipo, 3 Campbell Johnstone, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Kieran Read, 19 Johnny Leo'o, 20 Kevin Senio, 21 Stephen Brett, 22 Scott Hamilton.

Chris Jack out for 6 weeks
Strange that Hamilton is on the bench, he's been having a hell of a season.
Here's the Force squad for the NZ and Canberra tour


Cameron Shepherd, Chris O’Young, Digby Ioane, Drew Mitchell, Haig Sare, James Hilgendorf, Jon McGrath, Junior Pelesasa, Lachlan MacKay, Matt Giteau, Ryan Cross, Scott Daruda


AJ Whalley, Brendan Cannon, David Pocock, Gareth Hardy, Luke Doherty, Matt Hodgson, Nathan Sharpe ©, Pek Cowan, Richard Brown, Rudi Vedelago, Scott Fava, Tai McIsaac, Tom Hockings, Troy Takiari


Scott Staniforth (knee), David Pusey (ankle), Angus Scott (calf) and Matt Henjak (knee)

Good squad, O'Young should get plenty of game time with Henjak missing. Mauger will be glad Staniforth aint playing after what he did to him last year.
Also I'd say the Force would be happy Henjak isn't playing after what he's done for them all year.
Apart from a couple of brain farts earlier in the year, i think Henjak's been very good.

Cant say i'm devastated to sim him injured though, looks like this is the only way O'Young is ever gonna get some game time ,Mitch doesn't seem too keen on playing him.
Only saw O'Young play once and was really impressed, sharp passing game.
Still think for mine that Henjak's just not that good, two areas: his distribution game - not pin point and his decision making sometimes makes me cringe.

But Mitch seems to think he's OK and the Force is sitting on the better part of the ladder... so there you go.
Cant believe I'm saying this but

Go The FORCE!!!

Staniforth may be out but Giteau is quite a handy replacement....and there is Pelesasa on the bench.

Force by 8.
The Crusaders are going throught their wobbles trying to get their rusty AB's back into form.

I think the Crusaders will be better than they have been in the last 2 weeks and will win this one...especially since they are in front of their home crowd. McCaw is still not with the programme. Thorne is still a few steps behind with the play.

15 Leon MacDonald,
14 Rico Gear,
13 Casey Laulala,
12 Aaron Mauger,
11 Caleb Ralph,
10 Daniel Carter,
9 Andrew Ellis,
8 Mose Tuiali'i,
7 Richard McCaw ©,
6 Reuben Thorne,
5 Michael Paterson,
4 Ross Filipo,
3 Campbell Johnstone,
2 Corey Flynn,
1 Wyatt Crockett

16 Ti'i Paulo,
17 Ben Franks,
18 Kieran Read,
19 Johnny Leo'o,
20 Kevin Senio,
21 Stephen Brett,
22 Scott Hamilton</span>
Should be a good game, Crusaders at home should be enough to get them home.
Yeah I agree with Gay-Guy, McCaw has definitely looked out of sorts and Thorne has just plain stunk, but there is a feeling in the air when all that's about to change. With those 2 clicking and Tuiali'i in form the back 3 will be a tough combination. Chuck the always classy Carter in and I can't see the Force winning this one.
Head to Head: For the colour blind (thanks Truth your effort was very pretty and I think showed some latent tendincies :mellow: )

1 â€" Wyatt Crockett, 2 â€" Corey Flynn, 3 â€" Campbell Johnstone, 4 â€" Ross Filipo, 5 â€" Michael Paterson, 6 â€" Reuben Thorne, 7 â€" Richie McCaw (captain), 8 â€" Mose Tuiali'i, 9 â€" Andy Ellis, 10 â€" Daniel Carter, 11 â€" Caleb Ralph, 12 â€" Aaron Mauger, 13 â€" Casey Laulala, 14 â€" Rico Gear, 15 â€" Leon MacDonald.
Reserves: 16 â€" Ti'i Paulo, 17 â€"Ben Franks, 18 â€" Kieran Read, 19 â€" Johnny Leo'o, 20 â€" Kevin Senio, 21 â€" Stephen Brett, 22 â€" Scott Hamilton.

Western Force:
1 â€" Gareth Hardy 2 - Tai McIsaac, 3 - Troy Takiari, 4 - Rudi Vedelago, 5 - Nathan Sharpe (captain), 6 - Richard Brown, 7 - David Pocock, 8 - Scott Fava, 9 - Chris O'Young, 10 - James Hilgendorf, 11 -Cameron Shepherd, 12 - Matt Giteau, 13 - Ryan Cross, 14 - Digby Ioane, 15 - Drew Mitchell.
Reserves: 16 â€" Brendan Cannon, 17 â€" AJ Whalley, 18 â€" Luke Doherty, 19 â€" Matt Hodgson, 20 â€" Jon McGrath, 21 â€" Junior Pelesasa, 22 â€" Haig Sare.

Loking at the line up I'd say the Crusaders should be able to control the game up front, taking nothing away from McIsaac and crew but that's a big front row with a lot of experiance on the Crusaders side.
Also should be a good battle in the lock department, should be well worth watching Sharpe on Paterson (who really is a hell of a find this season, where the hell did he come from?). For mine I think even with the talent of Nathan Sharpe the Crusaders duo should be able to match up and if not gain the advantage.
Lose forwards... Crusaders all the way. Big Scott Fava on Tuiali'i should be well worth a watch.

The backs... with Git playing at 12 the Force really do have a standout backline, I know most Force supporters like and respect Henjak but for mine I'm looking forward to seeng O'Young get a run in this one.
At this stage I'd call the backlines very even with the AB's in the Crusaders squad still not fireing to the level we've come to expect.

If the Crusaders turn up with the right stuff on the day however then this one might be a bit of an embarresment for the Force.
For me it's all up to how many turn overs the Force give away. If McCaw can run havoc at the breakdown it will be a blowout.
Brilliant performance by the Crusaders tonight, the fowards especially. Ross Filipo was outstanding, so was Kieran Read when he came on. Mose Tuiali'i had a top game, he was everywhere. Force were very much out of sorts and will have a tough trip to Hamilton to take on the Chiefs next week. They will have alot to work on during training this week to come back from this. That's the best performing Aussie S14 side???? :(

John Mitchell :wall:
that would have been hard to watch for a force supporter. crusaders were just simply awesome and seemed to be able to do anything they wanted with the force unable to do anything about it. the force on attack were just shocking lots of drop ball and nothing came off. hopefully for force supporters that was their bad game otherwise could be a long few weeks

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