Reds 'at home' in Christchurch

Thu, 18 Jul 2013 14:40
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It may be billed as a fearsome fortress and home of the Crusaders, but the Reds don't have too many hang-ups about the city's supposed terrors.

It may be billed as a fearsome fortress and home of the Crusaders, but the Reds don't have too many hang-ups about the city's supposed terrors.

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie dismissed the notion that the Crusaders' imposing record of 15 wins from 16 games at the renovated stadium - the former Rugby League ground that was upgraded to be their home ground following the 2011 earthquake.

The last time a Queensland team beat the Crusaders in Christchurch was in 1999, although the Reds have only played at the venue once, a narrow 11-15 loss last year.

However, the Reds can take confidence knowing they have defeated the Crusaders in three of their past four Super Rugby matches dating back to 2010, including a historic Super Rugby Final triumph in 2011.

"We take pride in the hoodoos we've broken over the years and this is just another milestone we can target," McKenzie said.

"History tells us they have a strong record at home where they seemingly always find a way to prevail, but we pushed them in Christchurch in our last match and many teams have continued to do so and come close since.

"It's a challenge we look forward to and the Crusaders are always a match we enjoy playing.

"They are a team we are quite familiar with and you always want to be challenging yourself against the best sides.

"Traditionally, this Reds group has also stepped up and performed well in the big games, and that gives us confidence in tackling the opportunity we have in front of us on Saturday."

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Hurricanes 11 10 0 1 45
Highlanders 11 7 0 4 32
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Sharks 12 5 1 6 28
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