Cruden ready for a hostile Newlands

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 06:24

SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: It is no secret that New Zealand franchises enjoy significant support at Newlands, however, Chiefs captain Aaron Cruden believes his side are still heading into a hostile environment. Tauriq Ebrahim reports.

The Chiefs arrived in Cape Town to the sight of a number of supporters welcoming their heroes and although he knows there will be plenty of Chiefs jerseys scattered around Newlands, the Stormers' supporters will be behind their side every step of the way.

"It's great to have supporters away from home. Whenever we come here [to Cape Town], there are a lot of Chiefs jerseys in the stadium but it is still a pretty hostile environment. The Stormers are going extremely well and there will be a lot of fans for them too. 

"We just need to keep our emotions in check when the crowd gets behind their team and maybe use that as motivation too," Cruden said.

The Chiefs captain is well aware of the transition the Stormers has gone through and believes highlighting individuals would be to their detriment.

"We are well aware that the Stormers has good athletes across the board - strong, tough guys prepared to mix it up but this year they seem to be moving the ball around more. We are just going to have to make sure that we are ready for whatever comes our way. 

"We are aware of certain [key] players but don't like to highlight them too much because to be playing this level, you have to be a good player. If you place too much focus on one area or a few opponents, then maybe you will get exposed somewhere else," he added.

Cruden admitted that selection for the upcoming British and Irish Lions Series has had a positive impact on the New Zealand teams as all the players wants to put their hand up for selection.

"I guess the allure of being selected [to play in the Series] is making the players want to impress during this competition. Whenever you play New Zealand sides, there is a little of motivation to get one over your opposite number to impress the national coaches but regardless of that, you need to physically and mentally ready to play anyone in this competition each week.

"If you are a little bit off and your opposition is playing well, you will find yourself at the wrong side of the ledger at the end of 80 minutes. 

"I would like to think that if you are playing well and putting your hand up consistently then it makes it hard for the selectors not to give you an opportunity. I'm not sitting in the selectors seat, so I cannot speak for them but I think if you are good enough, you will get an opportunity," he stated.

By Tauriq Ebrahim
@Tauriq365
@rugby365com

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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