But it won’t be easy – the defending champions from New Zealand’s South Island are on a winning streak of 25 matches at home, but the Cell C Sharks know what it takes to win in Christchurch, as they are one of only two teams to have beaten the Cantabrians at their home fortress in the last 15 years.

Cell C Sharks head coach Robert du Preez has not tinkered too much with last week’s winning side and made just a couple of tweaks to the team playing the Crusaders.

Thomas du Toit will revert to the loosehead side of the scrum in place of Tendai Mtawarira, who has returned home with a knee injury. Coenie Oosthuizen starts at tighthead while Ruan Botha, after making his comeback from injury last week off the bench, is set to start with Hyron Andrews in the pack. 

There is just one change in the backline, with regular skipper Louis Schreuder returning to the starting line-up and also resuming the captaincy.

What they said:

Cell C Sharks coach Robert du Preez said his team will be looking to pressuring their illustrious opposition and focus sharply for the full 80 minutes: “The conditions are a lot better here and not as humid as in Durban, but we have been working on handling and our basics and the message this week is ‘back to basics’.”

The teams: 

15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Mitchell Dunshea, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody. Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Isi Tu’ungafasi, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Tim Bateman.

Cell C Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Thomas du Toit. Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Robert du Preez, 23 Marius Louw.

Head to head:
Played: 22
Crusaders won: 18
Cell C Sharks won: 4 
Crusaders points: 715
Cell C Sharks points: 444
Average score: 33-20

Match information:
Date: Friday, 3 May 2019
SA time: 09h35
Venue: Christchurch Stadium, Christchurch
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser, James Munro
Television Match Official: Glenn Newman
TV: SuperSport1