Scott Robertson eyeing perfect farewell to Crusaders

GettyImages 1498876739

The Crusaders emphasised their readiness to travel to Hamilton to chase their seventh consecutive championship with a thumping 52-15 win over the Blues – maintaining an outstanding record not only in unbeaten playoffs success in Christchurch but in the mastery of the Blues with 18 wins in their last 19 games.

Robertson told SKY Sport he was nervous early in the game but had settled down after the first quarter.

With a six-day turnaround, they had an early focus on what they needed to do. That came down to carrying height, keeping the ball in front of them and running onto it, which they could do.

After going to halftime 32-3 up, it made the players realise they needed to score first to keep the pressure on.

"You can start concentrating on they were going to throw the ball around; they were going to play catch-up. But if you try and have your mindset to score first, you're on, and you're not concentrating so much on them.

"They did, they put some good phases together, but our defence was great."

Another factor was the way the side was able to compensate for their missing All Blacks.


To that, Robertson said it was squads that win championships.

"Guys have got to come in and do their roles, at the highest level, a semifinal level. The intensity that we started at and finished at was incredible."

Robertson said first, five-eighths Richie Mo'unga had shown how much time he had to set the pattern for the side and said the greater the occasion, the better he responded.

While many different players were involved from when he first coached the side, there was still care in the unit for the Crusaders' approach.

Mo'unga said it had been a special game, but it was also his last at this stage of his career, and he was sad it was ending.

He credited the team management for coming up with the plan that crushed the Blues.

"Rugby is pretty brutal, it doesn't favour fairy tale endings, so it was crucial that we had to do a job. We had to be cold-blooded by any means necessary, execute, and that's what we pride ourselves on being Crusaders; that's what we do.

"It's finals footy. We enjoy it and want to walk towards all these challenges.

"We didn't want to leave anything up to chance, we wanted to inject ourselves and play positive footy which we did."


View all