Crusaders seek more accuracy against Blues

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Their post-game review revealed a higher degree of inaccuracy than was generally acceptable for the three-time defending champions.

 

Assistant coach Jason Ryan, (pictured left above) said: "There is quite a bit of detail we didn't get right in our game. Set piece, particularly. We didn't get our maul going as well as we could have.

 

"We weren't accurate at the breakdown, that's been talked about really honestly this morning. We will be better for it," he said after Monday training.

 

"There's a few errors where we just missed detail."

 

It was a case of both the players and coaches ensuring they got their week of preparation correct.

 

"We were exposed in a few areas but that's healthy as well," he said.

 

The side had also been hit hard in the penalty count – only the Sharks with 25 have more penalties against them than the Crusaders on 23.

 

"We need to be a lot cleaner and a lot neater. I think at halftime the last two weeks we've talked about that. We don't want that to be a theme.

 

"We can control our anticipation and decision-making at the breakdown, it's a classic area.

 

"We're competitive, we want to compete, but sometimes it's a little bit border line where we're pushing the boundaries and getting a feel for how the ref is running the game," he said.

 

First five-eighths Richie Mo'unga would be fit for selection for the weekend. Ryan said coach Scott Robertson had said last week that if it had been playoffs time Mo'unga could have played but they didn't see the point in risking their general in the first weeks of the competition.

 

Ryan said tighthead prop Oli Jager was having an impact this year, his fourth season with the side.

 

"He had a bit of a mixed year last year, but I'm really proud of Oli and how he's stepped up and he's putting pressure on the other tightheads in the group. Oli's put a lot of work in off the field and he's done a lot of work in his mental skills and getting himself right. He's been surrounded by Owen [Franks] in the last few years so he's taken his opportunity," he said.

 

Flanker Tom Christie was a young flanker who had been working hard on his game and there was some good growth to come from him.

 

"What we know about Tom is he can go 80 minutes and he's pretty resilient so that's good signs for a young seven," he said.

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