Crusaders wary of Bulls' firepower

NZ Newswire July 20, 2012, 6:30 pm

The Bulls' long-range counterattacking ability has the Crusaders on edge ahead of Saturday's Super Rugby playoff at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

The South Africans have lost each of the last eight times they've played the Crusaders at home, and the red-and-blacks have won all of their 13 Super Rugby play-off matches in Christchurch since 1998.

But second five-eighth Ryan Crotty, improving with every game outside an injury-free Dan Carter, says the Bulls are a dangerous team from anywhere on the park.

Halfback Francois Hougaard can spark an attack from out of nothing, Crotty told RadioLive Sport, while wings Akona Ndungane and Bjorn Basson have the pace to punish any defensive shortcomings.

"They're not afraid to throw the ball around," he said.

"They're quite an exciting team to play, and they do score those long-range tries, so that means our kick and chase is going to have to be on song this week."

Crotty, 23, says there's little chance of the Crusaders taking the home advantage for granted.

"It's finals footy, and that comes down to being able to perform your basics when you're really under pressure," he said.

"Whichever team can really execute their basics under the pump will come out with the win."

The Bulls are unchanged apart from the return of lock Flip van der Merwe, who has recovered from the hip injury that saw him miss last week's 37-20 victory over the Lions and replaces Wilhelm Steenkamp in the second row.

The Crusaders will be without All Blacks loosie Kieran Read, with Richie McCaw moving to take his place at the back of the scrum.

All Blacks prop Ben Franks drops to the bench, replaced by Wyatt Crockett at loosehead, while international lock Sam Whitelock returns after being rested last week.

Powerful centre Robbie Fruean is restored to the run-on side outside Crotty, while Adam Whitelock replaces Sean Maitland on the wing.

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11 Comments

  1. Lisa08:56am Saturday 21st July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Im backing the saders tonight...wud love to see a saders/chiefs final :) with the chiefs coming out on top of course :))

    Reply
  2. Colin06:26am Saturday 21st July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    PG, looks like we still have some white racists living in NZ.

    Reply
  3. Roger06:07am Saturday 21st July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Being wary is nothing new. Its finals football and of course any team should be wary.

    Reply
  4. ROMMEL05:33am Saturday 21st July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    if a yarpie team is to win the whole thing i hope its the bulls ,,,the yarpie version of the crusaders just we are better looking and our colours are the best ,,,,,ja

    4 Replies
  5. il Duce05:18am Saturday 21st July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Don't know how long you've been coming here, Will, but Pigs Gonads and Stu-pid have the same inane, infantile, imbecilic and retarded modus operandi as Wharfie and tom (my number one fan), and a few of their other copy cat acolytes, usually just the same trolls in drag. Quite simply, a bunch of disgruntled soccer morons, jealous of everything that rugby has achieved and it's position on the top of NZs sports high pedestal.

    1 Reply
  6. Baz05:01am Saturday 21st July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    ...yarpies gunna getting smacked in the rugby this weekend both the sharks and bulls going down sadly.... bit like their cricket team - no hope for them either

    Reply
  7. Will04:56am Saturday 21st July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    @PG. You are a sad racist prik. You must have no friends, no family, no neighbors, no pets & no vision other than ranting off stupid remarks about anything to do with maori issues. Either change your focus on life or you will die a miserable lonely git, you sad pathetic person.

    Reply
  8. 07:24pm Friday 20th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Is this about the bottle water who owns this water then?

    Reply
  9. Perplexed05:29pm Friday 20th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Are well at least you 2,ain`t ah?????????

    Reply
  10. PG05:18pm Friday 20th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    They should also be wary of the Waitangi Tribunal.They are running NZ.

    1 Reply

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