The waters run deep with the Reds, a storied history of heartbreak and victory for the Crusaders.
From their first face off in ’96 (Crusaders 31-18), the infamous ’11 final (Reds 18-13) after a whole year on the road for our boys, and the Johannesburg final at the end of Razor’s first season as Head Coach in ’17 – the start of the Crusaders’ six on the trot.
Adding to Friday’s sense of occasion is Suncorp Stadium, one of the best places in Australia to play. Known for tough State of Origin contests and historic union match ups, Suncorp is a prime example of the spectacle raising itself to match its location.
The Crusaders have not lost at Suncorp since that ’11 final. In the years before then the two teams shared victories, but the sting of that loss fueled a Crusaders side motivated to be better every day. The Crusaders have won every contest since.
Last time we met:
The Crusaders last faced the Reds at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch in the QF of the ’22 season, winning 37-15 in a hard-fought contest. Only a week earlier we’d faced them at Orangetheory in the last round robin, the boys in red and black once again taking the W 28-15. Tough matches against a quality side.
The Crusaders last faced the Reds in Brisbane in May ’21, winning 67-28. Richie Mo’unga scored three tries on the way to the Crusaders highest total against the Aussies.
Christian Lio Willie has been a new and exciting addition to the Crusaders line up in ’23, making his debut vs the Chiefs in Round 1. On the opposite side of the field on Friday will be Harry Wilson, a young player with 12 caps for the Wallabies under his belt. Expect a big contest here.
In his first start for the Crusaders, 19-year-old Noah Hotham takes the halfback spot in a nod to the future for the Crusaders. He’ll be face-to-face with Tate McDerrmott, the Reds and Wallabies halfback with 21 international caps.
Kick off 9:35pm (NZ time), 6:35pm (AEST)
Referee: Damon Murphy
Our next home game against Moana Pasifiki is on sale, get your tickets now starting from only $10.