Crusaders must avoid 'soft moments'

Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:51
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PRE-MATCH BUILD-UP: The Crusaders will lean heavily on past experience when they take on the Waratahs in the Super Rugby Final on Saturday.

The Crusaders will lean heavily on past experience when they take on the Waratahs in the Super Rugby Final on Saturday.

Having played in 10 finals since 1998, the Crusaders have won seven titles - a very good strike rate.

The Waratahs, in stark contrast, have reached the Final just on two previous occasions - losing, ironically, to the Crusaders on both occasions.

The last time the Crusaders were in a Final, in 2011, they were defeated by the Reds.

That experience is being put to good use this week.

All Black captain Richie McCaw, who played against the Reds three years ago, admitted they will go back into the memory banks as they hope to avoid a repeat of the heartbreak they suffered after their globe-trotting season.

"You have to go through the process of the week, like your always do, make sure all the details - of how you are going to play - are sorted," McCaw told a media briefing in the build-up to Saturday's big showdown.

"You have to realise that when it comes down to one or two moments, the teams that are good enough to take those opportunities are the ones that win.

"If you drop your guard for one or two moments, you'll come second - that is what I have seen over the years."

Ten members of the 23-man squad that crossed the Tasman Sea this week, for Saturday's grand finale, also made the trip to Brisbane in 2011.

They have taken the lessons from that loss to heart.

"It was one or two moments in that game," McCaw said, adding: "[Will] Genia scored a try from noting really and that was the game.

"We played good rugby for a fair bit, but lost it.

"We are a totally different team, in terms of where we've come from this year and [there are] a few personnel [changes].

"We are excited about getting the opportunity and want to make the most of it."

Although the Crusaders haven't played that Tahs this season, McCaw feels there will be no real surprises.

''The coaches do a fair bit of that [analysing the Waratahs] and most of us, over this week, will have a bit of a look at it," the Crusaders flank said.

''It's more understanding that if you give them ball with space, they are a team that want to have a crack and have got some playmakers that do that. We just have to make sure we limit that.''

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19