Ominous warning for Crusaders' play-off opponents
SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: The defending champions Crusaders find themselves in a perfect position to go on and secure a third straight Super Rugby crown.
After destroying the Melbourne Rebels 66-0 in Christchurch, the Crusaders have a bye in the final round of the regular season ahead of the quarterfinals.
The log leaders are also set to have a full-strength team available for the play-offs with a couple of All Blacks returning from injury.
The Crusaders are set to have prop Own Franks and hooker Codie Taylor available for selection by the time quarterfinals comes around.
It is an ominous sign for the Crusaders’ future opponents, especially after the way Scott Robertson’s side humiliated the Rebels in Round 17.
“It was a pretty special effort, there were some great individual efforts,” Robertson told allblacks.com.
“It’s good but we’re also aware of last week [loss to Chiefs in Fiji] and how quickly it can change so the Chiefs game was timely, and we made it timely for ourselves with our review last week.
“We knew they were going to give us kick-space and we didn’t take that last week against the Chiefs and we did today [Saturday], and executed it really well. And when you’ve got the speed and you’ve got someone like Sevu [Reece] who can create so much and just getting the ball as quickly as you can it is the best way to do it,” he said.
Robertson was also impressed with All Black Tim Perry’s 30-minute contribution against the Rebels after returning to action after recovering from a broken arm.
“He’s worked really hard; was in good physical condition and we’re really pleased for him.
“He scrummed pretty well when he came on and he ran around like an eager young fellow, not a 30-year-old and it was great to have him back,” said Robertson.