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
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10