Defence key for Crusaders

Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:22
Large andy ellis crusaders train Large andy ellis crusaders try Large mowen tackles ellis630

Crusaders scrumhalf Andy Ellis says they are focusing on improving their defence ahead of Saturday’s play-off against the Reds in Christchurch.

Crusaders scrumhalf Andy Ellis says they are focusing on improving their defence ahead of Saturday’s Super Rugby play-off against the Reds in Christchurch.

Ellis said in their analysis of their 25-17 win over the Hurricanes last Friday, the Crusaders identified the need to get their defence on par with their attack as they prepare to contain the likes of Quade Cooper and Will Genia this weekend.  

"Since the [June Test] break we've put in a couple of commanding performances but last weekend we weren't quite where we needed to be and the review has touched on those things we need to get better. One of those is defence,” said Ellis.

"If you get the attitude and `D' right the rest will flow. The boys are on edge and it's a nice feeling being in finals footy. There are only six teams left now so that's exciting and we're all in a good space."

The Reds famously beat the Crusaders 18-13 in the 2011 Final in Brisbane, but on Saturday the teams will collide at AMI Stadium, where the Crusaders boast an unbeaten record this season and have won 15 of their 16 matches since the venue was restored as the team’s permanent home ground last year.

Ellis said the team are relishing playing finals rugby in front of their home fans again and said they will look to make the most of their home ground advantage.

"It's a proud record but counts for nothing unless you win this weekend," he said.

"It will be great running on to the field. There's something special about it and creates a real atmosphere. Everyone's behind us with red-and-blacks flags everywhere and people stamping their feet on the grandstand and it's really cool to be part of it."

The veteran No.9 said they are preparing to come up against a well-rounded team.

"Right across the board they're a good side. They've got a good set piece, attacking backs who are directed well and they're coached really well. They'll come with a smart gameplan and we know we have to be on our game,” he said.

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