Cruden ready for a hostile Newlands

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 06:24

SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: It is no secret that New Zealand franchises enjoy significant support at Newlands, however, Chiefs captain Aaron Cruden believes his side are still heading into a hostile environment. Tauriq Ebrahim reports.

The Chiefs arrived in Cape Town to the sight of a number of supporters welcoming their heroes and although he knows there will be plenty of Chiefs jerseys scattered around Newlands, the Stormers' supporters will be behind their side every step of the way.

"It's great to have supporters away from home. Whenever we come here [to Cape Town], there are a lot of Chiefs jerseys in the stadium but it is still a pretty hostile environment. The Stormers are going extremely well and there will be a lot of fans for them too. 

"We just need to keep our emotions in check when the crowd gets behind their team and maybe use that as motivation too," Cruden said.

The Chiefs captain is well aware of the transition the Stormers has gone through and believes highlighting individuals would be to their detriment.

"We are well aware that the Stormers has good athletes across the board - strong, tough guys prepared to mix it up but this year they seem to be moving the ball around more. We are just going to have to make sure that we are ready for whatever comes our way. 

"We are aware of certain [key] players but don't like to highlight them too much because to be playing this level, you have to be a good player. If you place too much focus on one area or a few opponents, then maybe you will get exposed somewhere else," he added.

Cruden admitted that selection for the upcoming British and Irish Lions Series has had a positive impact on the New Zealand teams as all the players wants to put their hand up for selection.

"I guess the allure of being selected [to play in the Series] is making the players want to impress during this competition. Whenever you play New Zealand sides, there is a little of motivation to get one over your opposite number to impress the national coaches but regardless of that, you need to physically and mentally ready to play anyone in this competition each week.

"If you are a little bit off and your opposition is playing well, you will find yourself at the wrong side of the ledger at the end of 80 minutes. 

"I would like to think that if you are playing well and putting your hand up consistently then it makes it hard for the selectors not to give you an opportunity. I'm not sitting in the selectors seat, so I cannot speak for them but I think if you are good enough, you will get an opportunity," he stated.

By Tauriq Ebrahim
@Tauriq365
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
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
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
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 Blues 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