Super Rugby chat 2019: Chiefs chase mouthwatering quarter-final clash with Crusaders

The grimace on the face of Newshub's renowned Crusaders lackey Ollie Ritchie says it all, as he contemplates the prospect of his beloved side facing the Chiefs in the opening week of Super Rugby playoffs.

But that's precisely the scenario the defending champs are faced with, should the Chiefs earn a bonus point win in Melbourne on Friday night to clinch eighth place in the standings.

The wounds suffered during the Crusaders' capitulation to the Hamilton-based side in Fiji - where they blew a 20-0 lead - are still fresh, and Ritchie is adamant neither he nor his team want anything to do with the surging Chiefs in the quarter-finals.

"The Crusaders will not want the Chiefs coming in eighth place," said Ritchie, in this week's Super Rugby round-up, hands shaking with terror.

"We know what happened last time the Chiefs played the Crusaders."

Add to that equation the return of colossus Brodie Retallick - who's sure to be frothing, after a lengthy injury absence - and it's a considerably more daunting task.

"You welcome back Brodie Retallick at just the right time. I thought they were welcoming back Sam Cane at the right time, but you have those two pivotal players back for you, I think they're every chance of making the playoffs."

Newshub rugby reporter Ross Karl agrees, citing the Chiefs' impressive record away from home as further cause for both Rebels and Crusaders concern.

"We've seen them win away from home all year against some of the better teams in this competition."

Watch the full preview of this week's action - which includes some sage advice for Beauden Barrett - in the video above.


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