The last two matches between the Crusaders and the Highlanders have been won by the Highlanders so the Crusaders will be desperate to win this match.
The Crusaders have edged ahead of the Highlanders in the New Zealand Super Rugby conference but they are only two points ahead so the winner of this match will go into the June break placed second in that conference.
The Crusaders and the Highlanders have played each other 21 times and the Crusaders have won 21 matches or 62% of their matches against Highlanders.
On average when the Crusaders play the Highlanders they score 28 points and the Highlanders score 21 points.
The Crusaders have played the Highlanders 11 times with home advantage. 10 matches have been played in Christchurch and one - last year - was played in Nelson.
Out of those 11 home matches for the Crusaders they have won 8 and lost three times. In other words the Crusaders have won 73% of their matches against the Highlanders.
With a strong record against the Highlanders at and away it's not too surprising that the average score when the Crusaders play the Highlanders at home is Crusaders 33 and Highlanders 24.
The Crusaders have a bit of a habit of starting slowly but in recent weeks have hit form. However last week they had a bye which could well impact on their form. We expect them to start a little slowly and gather momentum.
The Bookies have given the Highlanders an 11 point start for this match - with an offer of Bet 5 and Get 50 in Bets. We don't agree with the Bookies prediction. The Highlanders are better than an 11 point loss. The Crusaders should win by 7.
This match will be shown on TV NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on the Sky Sports website.
Average score: Crusaders 28 Highlanders 21
Last five results
03 Mar 2012 Crusaders v Highlanders 24-27 Dunedin
23 Apr 2011 Crusaders v Highlanders 18-26 Nelson
19 Mar 2011 Crusaders v Highlanders 44-13 Dunedin
13 Feb 2010 Crusaders v Highlanders 32-17 Christchurch
07 Mar 2009 Crusaders v Highlanders 0-6 Dunedin
Crusaders overall record against the Highlanders
Played 21 , Wins 13, Losses 8 , Draws 0
Match No.95: Crusaders v Highlanders
Date Friday 1 June
Venue : Christchurch
Kick Off local: 19:35
Referee: Steve Walsh
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2:Kane McBride
TMO : Vinny Munro
1. Wyatt Crockett 2. Corey Flynn 3. Ben Franks 4. Luke Romano 5. Samuel Whitelock 6. George Whitelock 7. Richie McCaw (c) 8. Kieran Read 9. Andy Ellis 10. Dan Carter (vc) 11. Zac Guildford 12. Ryan Crotty 13. Robbie Fruean 14. Adam Whitelock15. Israel Dagg
Reserves :16. Quentin MacDonald,17. Owen Franks,18. Tom Donnelly,19. Matt Todd,20. Willi Heinz,21. Tom Taylor,22. Tom Marshall
1 Jamie Mackintosh (c) 2 Andrew Hore 3 Chris King 4 Jarrad Hoeata 5 Josh Bekhuis 6 Adam Thomson 7 James Haskell 8 Nasi Manu 9 Aaron Smith 10 Chris Noakes 11 Hosea Gear 12 Phil Burleigh 13 Tamati Ellison 14 Kurt Baker 15 Ben Smith
Reserves 16 Jason Rutledge 17 Bronson Murray 18 Nick Crosswell 19 Tim Boys 20 Jimmy Cowan 21 Mike Delany 22 Kade Poki