Kieran Read to play first Crusaders game of the season

Radio Sport, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 27 March 2019, 7:43PM
Kieran Read returns for the Crusaders against the Hurricanes. (Photo / Photosport)

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson is quick to admit his side weren't up to their usual standard in last weekend's loss to the Waratahs.

"We were desperate last week but we were pretty inaccurate a lot of times at key moments," Robertson said. "That's our focus, we made sure we were really clear on what we needed to get better at."

With the Crusaders' loss to the Waratahs, which ended their unbeaten start to the season, the Hurricanes were able to draw level on the points table with their southern counterparts at the top of the New Zealand conference.

The Crusaders will take a strengthened side to Wellington in the search for local supremacy on Friday night, welcoming back a host of players including captain Kieran Read and Richie Mo'unga.

The Hurricanes have had the Crusaders' number in Wellington in recent years, and Robertson noted the rivalry was something Super Rugby and New Zealand rugby needed.

"There's always the anticipation around it from the players and the public. They're always pretty brutal and results have gone both ways over the years. It's a great date on the calendar and something to look forward to."

Crusaders: David Havili, Braydon Ennor, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Bryn Hall, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Samuel Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Harry Allan

Reserves: Andrew Makalio, George Bower, Michael Alaalatoa, Quinten Strange, Jordan Taufua, Mitchell Drummond, Brett Cameron, Will Jordan.