Crusaders love their 'awesome' Cape Town fans
SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: They are known, colloquially, as the Cape Crusaders. On Saturday their loyalty will be repaid.
Crusaders assistant coach Brad Mooar, fronting up to the media ahead of the Round 14 encounter with the Stormers, said they will pay their due respect to these fans.
The moniker, Cape Crusaders, elicits a certain amount of spite and animosity from a broad assemblage of the South African population.
However, their devotion to the successful New Zealand franchise is something to cherish.
Mooar said it is “awesome” being in Cape Town.
“It is a wonderful city and the boys are looking forward to Saturday,” he said of the encounter with the Stormers at Newlands.
“It is a privilege to play at and experience a historic stadium like Newlands and put our wee mark on that.”
The Stormers have not been able to beat the Crusaders since April 2010 and that means the Cape Crusaders have departed Newlands in a celebratory mood for almost a decade.
And they were back in their droves this week, after the nine-time champion Crusaders arrived in the Mother City.
“We have seen a lot of the supporters at the hotel and around the city and it has been wonderful,” Mooar said.
“People are keen to support the Crusaders and that support is something we are proud of, of the sides that have come before us and the people that have represented our team before we have this year.
“It is our obligation to perform in a way that gives due respect to that.”
Mooar’s last visit to Newlands was in 2013, when he was an assistant coach with the Southern Kings, who lost 11-19 to the Stormers.
He hopes to make Saturday a victorious trip.
He spoke of a “quality” Stormers side with a good number of Springboks.
“That makes us focussed and on high alert,” Mooar said.
“We have high respect for South African players and their rugby history.”
Mooar is in his fourth year with the Crusaders, as assistant coach.
Prior to the Crusaders, Mooar was head coach and Director of Rugby at Southland.
In 2012 he moved to South Africa to coach the Eastern Province Kings to a First Division title, then became assistant coach of the Southern Kings Super Rugby side.
By Jan de Koning