Crusaders ready to take on Australia’s best

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They meet the beaten Australian finalist Brumbies first up in Christchurch on Saturday and then face the champion Reds team a week later.

 

The only sharper test would be if the games were reversed.

 

But Crusaders' captain Scott Barrett was well aware of the demands facing the side and while admitting to not being able to shake the smile on his face for 48 hours and what he called 'a special effort' to beat the Chiefs 24-13, it was a case of resetting quickly.

 

"We've talked about it this morning, [I'm] so proud of the boys, of what they did on Saturday night, and our focus shifted pretty quickly to the Brumbies.

 

"I'm sure they're hurting from their final loss, and they'll be keen to make a good start in this competition," he said.

 

It was a unique situation having two Super Rugby competitions in the same season. But it provided some welcome variety after intense play against New Zealand sides across four rounds spread over two years.

 

"It will be good to travel again, get overseas and spend some time at different places. I enjoy travelling, the team comes together, and you do stuff on tour. There are videos coming from guys back here, and you keep connected and experience different cultures. It's what rugby's about.

"It's all new to us, but at the same time we have to reset and possibly use the depth of the squad and keep guys fresh as well," he said.

 

Barrett was aware of the differences the Australians would bring to their contests. The competition wasn't harder or easier it was different.

 

"They play a different style of rugby. They will test you in different areas. If we turn up to this competition thinking it's going to be easy, we won't be holding that trophy up, that's for sure," he said.

 

Having to immediately prepare for a new season in the wake of a final was the nature of professional rugby, and the side had been through their celebrations and were quick to turn their sights to the Brumbies.

 

They would set different challenges for the Crusaders. They were a physical side. The forwards knew that if they didn't front they would come off second best, he said.

 

"We're aware of their threats and what they pose upfront.

 

"They're big men and traditionally how they've played is to try and dominate you up front in their maul, scrum, set-piece and even around the park, they want to impose their game physically," he said.

 

The Crusaders take on the Brumbies on Saturday 15 May at 7.05pm at Orangetheory Stadium. Get your tickets HERE.

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