Crusaders relish 'must-win' scenario

Wed, 11 Jul 2012 10:19
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The seven-time champion Crusaders, one of six teams battling for four play-off spots, are comfortable at being in a 'must-win' scenario.

The seven-time champion Crusaders, one of six teams battling for four remaining sports in the play-offs, are comfortable at being in a 'must-win' scenario.

The table-topping Chiefs (also the New Zealand champions) and the South African conference winners, the Stormers, have already booker their play-off spots.

However, the Brumbies (currently heading the Aussie conference), Crusaders, Bulls, Sharks, Reds and Hurricanes are chasing the remaining places in the Super Rugby competition's knock-out stages in the final round of league action this weekend.

Only three competition points currently separate the Crusaders in fourth place and the Hurricanes in eighth place, so where teams end up on the table will be dependent on not just their own performances but also on other round 18 results.

The Crusaders could finish anywhere from fourth to eighth in the standings at the end of the regular season.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder admitted the importance of making sure his teem keep up their record of not having missed the play-offs in 10 years.

"The temptation at this stage of tournament is to start looking too far ahead," Blackadder said.

"[The] play-offs are just around the corner, and it is easy for players and coaches to start thinking about what lies ahead instead of what is directly in front of us.

"That is a grave mistake to make, so I have made it very clear to the team this week that there is just one focus for the week - and that is the Force game [this coming Saturday].  

"If we are thinking about what may or may not happen the week after, then we have become complacent about what might happen this week.

"And we know what happens when we let complacency slip in, we have demonstrated it in a couple of our losses this season.

"We are certainly capable of winning against the Force, but there is no room to let our foot off the pedal this weekend if we want to ensure a qualifier spot," Blackadder added.

Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach also spoke of the importance for the Crusaders to win in Christchurch on Saturday to ensure the team gets a home quarterfinal.

"The Crusaders team, support staff and supporters have so enjoyed having Super Rugby games back in Christchurch this year at the new AMI Stadium in Addington, and none of us would like to believe that this weekend's game will be the final home game of this season," Riach said.

"However, if we are to get the opportunity of a quarter final at our new home stadium, the team will need all of the support we can give them this weekend," Riach added.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10