Gentle prodding? More like wishing biblical plague upon us.I would daresay that Blackadder will bring Richie in off the bench again this week. If the way he has handled Dagg and Carter are anything to go by, Richie won't get a start for a few weeks. This will be an absolute pain for us, as we will have to deal with a fresh Richie McCaw in the last 20-25.
For that reason, I agree with some of the boys here. Quirk start at 6, Higgers at 8, with Schatz to come on later in the game. Hopefully our defensive line will stiffen right up with Ant back starting.
I really don't want to comment on the ref for this one, as the Tahs and Brumbies fans will jump all over me, after my gentle prodding re Kaplan and Walsh. I will say though that Bryce is usually bad for both sides, so it evens out.
Crusaders too strong all across the park. Expect the Crusaders forwards to get on top as the Reds forward pack has been far from impressive this year. Expect Carter and Taylor to have a lot of front foot ball and their (along with Dagg at the back) tactical kicking game, focusing on playing the game in the Reds half, could cause major dramas for the Reds who will field a likely back 3 of Shipperley, Ioane (assuming A Faingaa starts) and Morahan - none of them renowned for their kicking game. Quite surprised to see a number of people saying that the Reds "have turned the corner" after the win against the Blues. Are the Blues of 2012 really an accurate yardstick to be measured against?! Crusaders by 10 - 15.
Moz has a pretty decent punt on him fairly consistently.