REDS v CRUSADERS
- Of the 15 Super Rugby finals played since 1996 only four have been won by the away side, and the Crusaders have done that three times (1998, 1999 and 2000). The Bulls are the only other side to have won an away final.
- This is the first time the Reds have made a Super Rugby Final. The closest they have come in the past was a semifinal in 1999 when they were beaten by the Crusaders.
- It will be the 10th final the Crusaders have appeared in, and of the nine played they have won seven and lost just two (2003 against the Blues, and 2004 against the Brumbies).
- The Reds won the Round 15 game 17-16 in controversial fashion when referee Stuart Dickinson penalised Richie McCaw in the dying minutes of the game and Quade Cooper kicked the winning penalty.
- Dan Carter has scored 181 points this Super 15 season. If he can score the 19 points he needs to crack 200 for the season he will also beat Andrew Mehrtens as New Zealand's top points scorer in a Super Final. Merhtens scored 16 points in the Crusaders' 2002 victory against the Brumbies.
- Under play-offs pressure Quade Cooper's goal kicking percentage in the semis was 43 per cent, while Dan Carter kicked at 77 per cent.
- Quade Cooper is the top linebreaker in the competition with a total of 17 but close on his heels is Robbie Fruean with 13.
- Sonny Bill Williams is still the undisputed off-load king, and has made 53 this season. Cooper is the next best with 45, but watch for Zac Guildford who has made 23.
- Sean Maitland is the top New Zealander try scorer with nine which also makes him top equal try scorer in the competition. He can become the sole top try scorer if he dots down this weekend.
- Last week the Crusaders conceded 15 penalties in their semifinal win over the Stormers, and in the Round 15 game against the Reds conceded 11. In contrast the Reds conceded nine penalties in their semifinal win over the Blues, and in the Round 15 game only conceded five.
- The Crusaders have averaged 29.5 points for and 17.1 points against per game played up to this point of the competition. The Reds have averaged 27.0 for and 18.9 against. Both teams have played 17 games, because while on paper the Crusaders have played 18 they didn't concede any points for or against in the Round Two game against the Hurricanes called off due to the February 22 earthquake.
- With playing all their games away from Christchurch this season after the February earthquake damaged their home ground AMI Stadium, the Crusaders have clocked up in excess of 90,000 travelling kilometres and will have a further 2500 kilometres to travel home from Brisbane on Sunday.
- Suncorp Stadium sold out in 45 minutes when tickets went on sale for this game, and the crowd number is set to break the Australian record for a Super Rugby game that was set in Round Fifteen when 48,301 people watched the two sides play. If the ground capacity of 52,000 is reached it will break the Australian national record for a provincial rugby match of 49,327 set back in 1907 when New South Wales played the All Blacks.
- HERALD ONLINE
REDS v CRUSADERS