Barrett wants better execution from Crusaders

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Barrett said his injured knee was good and he was rearing to go. It had been a tweak to a medial cruciate ligament against the Highlanders which the medical team felt could recover over two weeks, especially with the Crusaders having the bye last week.

 

He said he was keen to get some momentum in his game and to find some rhythm.

 

At the same time, he said being forced to step back and observe from the sideline had been useful.

 

"You can easily get caught up in a weekly routine and I think for me, taking a step back and having a look at things, all parts of the game, our environment and where we're tracking as a team [had been useful]," he said.

 

While the Reds have had only one win this season, Barrett was expecting a physical game.

 

"The Reds have always challenged us. I think back to the last time we played them over at Suncorp [Stadium], it was a last-minute penalty that got us there so we certainly know upfront they've got plenty of power. The likes of Taniela Tupou, Izaak Rodda, seasoned Wallabies, so it is going to be a physical battle," he said.

 

The theme of wanting to execute scoring chances more efficiently was still on the Crusaders' agenda going into the game.

 

"We are certainly creating enough but when we get down in that 22 we need to take points and we've been driving that at training," he said.

 

Skill execution and decision-making on not throwing extra passes, being patient and building possible scoring chances after a couple of more phases, he said.

 

"If you're not creating, you've probably got more problems than finishing that last pass or scoring that try," he said.

 

Barrett said the recent successes of the Australian sides against New Zealand teams ensured they wouldn't be lacking in confidence.

 

"They're going to be backing themselves to come over here and throw everything at us, so if we turn up with a poor attitude we might as well not even show up.

 

"We certainly have to treat the Aussies with plenty of respect," he said.

 

New cap at second five-eighths Dallas McLeod said selection in the side was something he had been looking forward to and was excited about getting his chance.

 

Playing with All Blacks on either side of him, Richie Mo'unga at first five-eighths and Jack Goodhue at centre, was something he was looking forward to and it would be special to run out with Goodhue who will play his 50th game for the side.

 

"They've been awesome [during the week], they've been telling me to do what I normally do and to go out and play how I normally play. There's been a lot of information coming in this week so if I just get out there and play how I normally play I'll be sweet," he said.

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