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Crusaders seek attacking mojo

Getty Images     01 May 2013     Getty Images

The Crusaders scored two excellent tries through the backs in the first 12min against the Melbourne Rebels in Christchurch on Sunday, but could add no more as the visitors seized the initiative and the lead before excellent goal-kicking by Tom Taylor got his team home, 30-26.

"It [backline attack] has fluctuated," Mauger conceded at Crusaders training on Tuesday.

"We've certainly showed some good attack in periods of games then in other periods we've been a bit poor.

"So it's something we're certainly addressing and it's the collective responsibility of the players and the coaches to make sure we get it right on the track."

Mauger said it was disappointing that the Crusaders, after scoring two early tries, had allowed the Rebels back into the game.

"They probably exposed some of our soft underbelly. We didn't match their physicality or their intensity at the breakdowns and we pretty much let them get a roll on."

With the table-topping Brumbies the next challenge for the Crusaders in Canberra on Sunday, Mauger said that lessons learnt from the Rebels game had to be put in place against a physical opponent.

"They've been outstanding all year and are probably the most consistency team. They're very efficient in all areas so we need to be on our game in those areas and especially around the breakdown."

The players, according to Mauger, were working hard at training and doing their best to achieve the consistency and high standards expected of the seven-time Super champions.

Captain Kieran Read had not been ruled out of the Brumbies match, but Mauger said that at the very best he would be considered for the bench.

"He's going to be touch and go for Sunday. There's still a few boxes he needs to tick and we certainly don't want to compromise him on his return so we will make a call later in the week."

Mauger said that veteran hooker Corey Flynn, who was replaced by Ben Funnell in the first half, was not in doubt for Sunday. Flynn is only three appearances away from becoming the most capped Crusader.