The battle upfront will be the decisive factor in Saturday's Super Rugby semi-final, according to Newshub rugby pundits Ross Karl and Ollie Ritchie.
The Crusaders will need to do their utmost to establish dominance, and reduce the time and space to available for Hurricanes linchpin Beauden Barrett, and Ritchie believes they have the elite personnel to do exactly that.
"If you give him too much room, you know what he can do," said Ritchie."So I'd think they'd go for a rush defence.
"They have a monster pack full of All Blacks… and the Hurricanes have traditionally struggled there."
The two Kiwi teams are familiar post-season foes, but the Crusaders have had the measure of the men from the capital, winning all five of their finals fixtures by an average of 20 points.
Taking all of that - and current form - into account, Karl is at a loss to find an area where the Hurricanes may edge the defending champs.
"When you look at them, they don’t have the forward pack to dominate possession or set piece," he observed. "They might not have the kicking game to dominate territory either.
"What do they do to make this a different result?"
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