All the action as the Crusaders took on the Sharks in the Super Rugby quarter-finals.

The big question going into the Super Rugby playoffs is if anyone can stop the Crusaders – a side in hot form who haven't lost since the fourth round of the competition.

The Crusaders will be heading into their quarter-final matchup as clear favourites against the Sharks in Christchurch on Saturday, and with a pretty good shout to take out the whole thing.

But hooker Codie Taylor is under no such illusions and is well aware of the uncertainty of playoff rugby.


"We had a reasonably good pool play in terms of the competition but finals footy is a whole different ball game," said Taylor.

"It's a bit of a step up. The whole mental side of it takes a notch up and the boys are really excited.

"It comes down to those little moments out there in the past and we just gotta nail those on Saturday."

The Sharks have been somewhat of a bogey team for New Zealand sides this year – with three of their seven wins coming against Kiwi teams – despite only locking up the eighth seed in the playoffs in the final game of the season.

Taylor says their strong forward pack and ability to run the ball resembles the way Kiwi sides approach the game, something they've been preparing for.

"The way the Sharks have been going this year, they've beaten three out of four New Zealand teams, which is pretty impressive and they back themselves.

"They're quite similar in terms of a New Zealand team. They've got a really good forward pack and then they've got backs that can spread it wide and create opportunities.

"Going back a few years ago we played them over in Africa I believe, so to go up against them again in a playoff game is gonna be pretty big."

But at the end of the day, the Crusaders – who are almost back to full strength with the return to health of senior players Kieran Read and Ryan Crotty – will stick to what they know, which in recent weeks has meant overpowering their opponents, especially at home.

"We've obviously got a clear gameplan that we wanna take out there this weekend," said Taylor.

"We've talked about this week being the only guaranteed week we've got left. Nothing is guaranteed after Saturday night.

"So we've gotta go out there and put everything on the line and then if we get another chance on Sunday morning to wake up and say we've got another playoff then we start again."

Crusaders team to play the Sharks in Christchurch on Saturday (kick-off 7.35pm):

David Havili, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Bryn Hall, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua, Sam Whitelock (c), Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Tim Perry.

Reserves: Andrew Makalio, Wyatt Crockett, Michael Alaalatoa, Luke Romano, Pete Samu, Mitchell Drummond, Mitchell Hunt, Manasa Mataele.