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Crusaders close in on top playoffs spot in Super Rugby

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) The defending champion Crusaders can bring some on-field certainty to Super Rugby in the 15th round while grappling also with uncertainties off the field.

A home win over the Auckland-based Blues in Christchurch on Friday would likely be enough for the Crusaders to clinch top spot in the New Zealand conference with three subsequent rounds remaining in the regular season.

Ideally, the Crusaders would need seven points to make sure of first place but a win over the Blues, especially with the bonus point, might be enough taking into account the possible outcome of other matches.