“Bonus points are going to be important” - Crusaders

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Assistant coach Andrew Goodman said with changes in laws the New Zealand players had become used to there was a need to be prepared ahead of the series.


"There's been a bit of chat around that," he said,


"All the bonus points are going to be important, there's no golden point any more. Your try-scoring bonuses, all those little things, are going to be a lot more crucial in this competition."


Goodman said despite their Super Rugby Aotearoa success, the side remained driven for the trans-Tasman variety. It was part of their ongoing drive, and it was something the coaching utilised to the team's benefit.


"There's another trophy to win, a new focus and a new energy towards the trans-Tasman," he said.


"It's a refreshing challenge. We're going to play teams we haven't played before, get a bit of travel over to Aus which will be good to be able to connect as a team over there."


He said in hindsight, their second bye, the week before the final, had worked out well, not only to provide some recovery time for bodies ahead but also as a break before heading into the new competition.



"It's going to be a tight competition so this first game is crucial for us to set our mark," he said.


Goodman wanted a good result from the Brumbies game. It would be especially important as they fly to Brisbane a week later to play the Australian champions, the Reds.


That meant coping with the Brumbies' maul and scrum, something they were prepared for.


"We always work a week ahead, so our analysts team did an amazing job of looking at the Brumbies and giving us some really good information to help lead the week today," he said.


"The Brumbies are an awesome set-piece team, they'll put the ball in the right areas of the field and a very low error rate so there's a couple of key things for us to work on."


Like all teams, the Brumbies would be looking forward to playing new opposition, and they would be excited about flying into Christchurch to take on the Crusaders.


The two sides had some history over the years, although the Brumbies hadn't been able to win in Christchurch since 2000, while it was 2009 since they had claimed a win in Canberra.


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