Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has sticked with the same 23 who beat the Highlanders last week to take on the Chiefs in their crucial semi final match this weekend.
“Tactically we were good last week. That gave us a lot of belief. We’ve had a look at how we can be better – making a few slight adjustments depending on what the Chiefs throw at us.” he told NZHerhold
There is an expected -3 forecast for Saturday match and that will surely have an effect on the players and the game they play.
We expect both sides to have a great kicking and rush defence in their plan for the match with the big battle expected to be in the scrums and collisions. The Crusaders are a great team and they do the simple things well which frustrate most teams but they can score tries.
“They’ve got some great athletes and individuals who make a lot of line breaks,” Robertson said of the Chiefs. “They’ve got a good tactical game. They’ve obviously got a world class 10 in [Aaron] Cruden and a pretty effervescent fullback in young Damian McKenzie. “Just because they’ve had to travel back won’t change their mindset. They could turn up and climb into us as they have in years gone by.”
“We got off the plane and six days later beat the Hurricanes 20-12 in a tough old battle at home. It can be done, of course it can be done. If you start thinking you’re getting benefits because a team has travelled you’re taking your eye off what’s in front of you.“
Crusaders: David Havili, Israel Dagg, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, Seta Tamanivalu, Richie Mo’unga, Bryn Hall, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua, Sam Whitelock (captain), Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody.
Replacements: Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett, Mike Alaalatoa, Luke Romano, Pete Samu, Mitchell Drummond, Mitchell Hunt, George Bridge