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Crusaders have 'a long way to go'

Sun, 09 Mar 2014 09:33
Israel-dagg-crusaders Crusaders-v-stormers
It was ugly and we didn't play too well but we're happy
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They may have got their first win of the season against the Stormers, but the Crusaders still have 'a long way to go' according to Israel Dagg.

The seven-time champions registered their first log points of the season with a tense 14-13 victory against a dogged Stormers side who had led for most of their clash in Christchurch.

While the points are obviously welcome after their disappointing start to the season, All Blacks fullback Dagg said that they are by no means satisfied with their standards.

"It was ugly and we didn't play too well but we're happy, this is huge. Three losses, it would have been a sad Sunday," he told Fairfax NZ News.

The home side found it incredibly difficult to break down the watertight Stormers defence, and Dagg said that the key is too add more width to their game on attack.

"We're a long way off where we want to be. Teams would have seen that," Dagg said. "We're too narrow. We're not attacking space. We're attacking into the heart of their defence so we need to work on that."

Coach Todd Blackadder admitted that it was a relief to finally get their campaign underway, although he acknowledged that they can sharpen up considerably.

"At the moment it looks like we're thinking too much rather than having a go," he said. "It's good to get some numbers on the board. This competition is incredibly tough," he said.

The Crusaders'only try came from debutant Kieron Fonotia, with flyhalf Tom Taylor adding a late penalty to seal victory.

Fonotia admitted that there had been plenty of nerves out there as the Christchurch team had been forced to fight their way back.

"It's massive relief," Fonotia said. "It was a bit touch and go there for a while but you could feel the momentum shift."
 

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