Crusaders excited to put their game against Moana Pasifika

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While getting a feel for the Moana Pasifika game is contained to their pre-season outing against the Chiefs, Crusaders assistant coach Scott Hansen said they had poured over that coverage. They understood the newcomers would be looking to get their momentum by using their big ball carriers and playing their brand of rugby.

"We're excited to put our game against theirs," he said.

Hansen said the Crusaders would field a hungry team for the game, and there was a chance for newer players to be included.

"We'll need to be at our best and we'll be driving that mindset this week," he said.

Hansen confirmed that returning All Blacks Richie Mo'unga and Codie Taylor would be available for selection.

"They've come in and they've trained well. They're absolutely class players. They've got a huge part and role in the Crusaders' environment and we expect them to be at their best straight up," he said.

Hansen said the management of the side was happy with where they were after two wins. Their growth was evident in their ability to influence games and what that looked like on attack and defence.

The players had handled the adjustments necessary to long bus trips before and after games. Their effort and attitude showed they were in a good spot," he said.

There were lingering concerns with the starts they have been making to games, but they were happier with how the side had adjusted during games.

"Against the Highlanders we didn't start well. We fed the Highlanders gains through our errors and a bit of ill-discipline around our decision-making but what we have acknowledged is that we regained momentum," he said.

"What the leaders did really well on the field was we adapted our game, and what that looked like as we used our kick we turned the Highlanders around and went to our set-piece and maintained our momentum there and it was pleasing there," he said.

His counter-attack leaders, fullback Will Jordan and wings Leicester Fainga'anuku and Sevu Reece, had demonstrated their worth again in the first two outings.

"The way they've started the year has been good. We're happy with how they're contributing to our game overall, both on attack and defence.

"We still areas where we could be better and they're open to that and we're looking forward to the coming weeks," he said.


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