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Chiefs v Lions

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The Breakdown: Crusaders on the move

After an emotional week of rugby, the Reds are set to clash with season favourites the Crusaders, and the Tahs are desperate for a win in Canberra.

PT0M0S 620 349

Bayer Growers Stadium, Pukekohe 5.35pm (AEST)
Last meeting:
Round 10 2011 - Chiefs 34 bt Lions 30 at Ellis Park
Head-to-head:
layed 16 Chiefs 11 Lions 5
In Pukekohe:
Played 1 Chiefs 1 Lions 0
Referee:
Bryce Lawrence (NZL)
TV:
Live, FoxSports 3
TAB Sportsbet:
Chiefs $1.05 Lions $8.50

Greg Growden writes: The good vibrations continue at the Chiefs, with assistant coach Wayne Smith opting against joining England. Smith and new coach Dave Rennie have transformed the Mooloos and they appear finals bound. The Lions are unlikely to trouble them.

AAP writes: Former All Blacks coach and Waikato old boy John Mitchell faces a tough return home with the Lions looking like cannon-fodder for the red-hot Chiefs. The competition pace-setters have won nine straight since their opening round loss to the Highlanders and feeding off defensive pressure that's been lacking in season's past. Aaron Cruden has stepped up to be a top-shelf playmaker and pull the right reins for Sonny Bill Williams and Richard Kahui. The Chiefs have rotated pack members in a show of confidence. Smashed by the Brumbies last week, the Lions have also lost Butch James to suspension.

CHIEFS: Andrew Horrell, Lelia Masaga, Richard Kahui, Sonny Bill Williams, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Aaron Cruden, Brendon Leonard, Kane Thompson, Sam Cane, Tanerau Latimer, Michael Fitzgerald, Craig Clarke (capt), Ben Tameifuna, Hika Elliot, Toby Smith. Reserves: Mahonri Schwalger, Arizona Taumalolo, Alex Bradley, Scott Waldrom, Tawera Kerr- Barlow, Jackson Willison, Maritino Nemani.

LIONS: Andrie Coetzee, Deon van Rensburg, Jaco Taute, Alwyn Hollenbach, Lionel Mapoe, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje, Josh Strauss (capt), Grant Hattingh, Derick Minnie, Ruan Botha, Franco van der Merwe, Pat Cilliers, Callie Visagie, Caylib Oosthuizen/JC Janse van Rensburg. Reserves: Martin Bezuidenhout, CJ van der Linde, Cobus Grobbelaar, Jaco Kriel, Tian Meyer, James Kamana, Michael Killian.

Related Coverage

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 29:  Robbie Fruean of the Crusaders is tackled during the round 10 Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Crusaders at Allianz Stadium on April 29, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) The Breakdown: Crusaders on the move

After an emotional week of rugby, the Reds are set to clash with season favourites the Crusaders, and the Tahs are desperate for a win in Canberra.

Expert tips

Fairfax's panel of experts's tips for round 18.

Brumbies v NSW Waratahs

Canberra Stadium, Canberra, Saturday 7.40pm (AEST)

Sharks v Highlanders

ABSA Stadium, Durban 1.05am (AEST)

Cheetahs v Western Force

Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein, Sunday 3.10am (AEST)

Crusaders v Queensland Reds

Christchurch Park, Christchurch 2.00pm(AEST)

Hurricanes v Blues

Westpac Stadium, Wellington, Friday 5.35pm (AEST)

Melbourne Rebels v Bulls

AAMI Park, Melbourne, Saturday 7.40pm (AEST)

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