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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 30 June 2017
Sharks v Bulls 17h00 Kings Park, Durban
Sat, 01 July 2017
Jaguares v Kings 23h05 Buenos Aires
New Zealand v B&I Lions 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Stormers 13h05 Bloemfontein
Lions v Sunwolves 15h15 Ellis Park Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 13 6 0 7 33
Waratahs 13 4 0 9 19
Force 13 4 0 9 17
Reds 13 3 0 10 17
Rebels 13 1 1 11 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 14 14 0 0 63
Hurricanes 14 11 0 3 54
Chiefs 14 11 1 2 53
Highlanders 14 10 0 4 46
Blues 14 7 1 6 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 30
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19