Crusaders looking to bounce back against the Hurricanes

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Beaten in the upset of the season 12-33 at home by the Highlanders, the Crusaders are looking to bounce back to retain their leadership in the competition, while the Hurricanes are desperate to back up their win over the Crusaders in Christchurch last year.


Coach Scott Robertson said it had been an honest week after looking at their loss to the Highlanders and resetting their preparation for the Hurricanes.


"We'll be better for that," he said.


Robertson said the failure of execution had been costly in their loss.


"We had enough opportunities and didn't take them, which is uncharacteristic for us, and we were against a side that was pretty desperate. The human spirit is something amazing when they have a bit of adversity, and they can get together like that.


"It just shows how much they care about their jersey and probably and [we] got out-cared that night," he said.


The Hurricanes would be in a similar position, and they stood to keep their final hopes alive with a win against the Crusaders.


One of the good things from the weekend was that the loss kept everyone alive.


"They've got some quality players and are well coached, so full respect in our preparation for them," he said.

Robertson said Ethan Blackadder hadn't been considered for the game as he had some neck issues over the past two weeks, and it was a chance for him to have some rest.


"He's had a few injuries over the years so a week off is going to be the best thing for him," he said.


Loose forward Tom Sanders is recovered from injury and would cover all three positions. The side had missed his physicality, and it was good to have his experience on the bench.


Acknowledging prop Joe Moody's 100th game for the franchise, Robertson said he was a powerful prop who played on the edge, and was unique in world rugby. He was quick, he could be skilful and could play on the line, and when he was on his game, he was world-class.


Robertson said news of the likelihood of a round of Australian games was exciting. They had been watching their Super Rugby and felt they had made some gains with squad depth, and there was an interest in playing the Australian sides.


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