Crusaders wary of 'enforcer' Brodie

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 09:19

SUPER RUGBY SEMIFINAL: The Crusaders may have beaten up the Highlanders forwards last week, but they face a far more formidable foe this week.

The Crusaders' 17-0 win over the Highlanders in a rain-swept Christchurch last week earned them a showdown with a gritty Chiefs team - who edged the Stormers 17-11 in an equally brutal arm-wrestle in Cape Town.

And while they were well served by their All Black-laden pack in the monsoon-like conditions, the men from Christchurch know they will be tested by a Chiefs team that have some impressive muscle of their own.

Crusaders assistant coach Jason Ryan said that while the forwards played really well in the quarterfinal win over the Highlanders, there are a lot of things they have to be better at.

"It was hardly going to be an expansive game [given the conditions]," Ryan said, adding: "We played to our strengths.

"However, come Saturday it is going to be another step up."

The scrum guru felt that despite the crazy travelling schedule - which saw them cross the Indian Ocean twice in a week - the Hamilton-based franchise poses a massive threat in the semifinal.

"What the Chiefs have shown is a lot of grit," Ryan said.

"They went to South Africa and beat a pretty good Stormers side. It will build confidence for them.

"Their set piece, in particular, is going well.

"And Brodie [Retallick] is a real enforcer for them at line-out time. Their scrums are also going good.

"We will have to be right up for the challenge. As a forward pack we will have to be a lot better than we were [last] Saturday."


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Sat, 21 October 2017
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28