Drummond puts the agony behind him

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Monday, March 6, 2017    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

A substitute on Saturday, he made it onto the field for the Crusaders' dynamic comeback to beat the Highlanders in Dunedin.

It went a long way to releasing the frustration he had felt from the sidelines.

He had to watch the Canterbury side play in Mitre 10 Cup and then battle through the pre-season but he had been assisted through his rehabilitation by the medical team at the Crusaders.


His return could not have been more exciting as he came off the bench at a stage when the Crusaders were struggling back from a 6-27 deficit.

"As a group we pulled through, obviously, really well. It was really frantic, an awesome place to play [Forsyth Barr Stadium], loud and under the pump but to pull through like we did in that last half hour was pretty awesome.

"A game like that does massive things for our squad. We're stoked with the result obviously. The first half we got ourselves into a tricky position but I think it shows the character of the group we've got here to be able to dig ourselves out of that hole and get a W [win]."

He said it had been good to be linked again with first five-eighths Mitchell Hunt, they had played together at Nelson College. They had two years together at 1st XV level and they knew each other well there and they were now flatting together in Christchurch.

Having been nervous, and sticking to his processes throughout the day, his goal when called upon in Dunedin was to have fun, he said.

"My game was just to get to breakdowns and to shift the ball.

"I felt a real momentum shift with about 30 minutes to go. It was just the boys were standing tall and we had a real big self-belief within the group. We got one [try], then we got another and then it was all on. I think we took our opportunities when we had them and stuck together and never lost belief which was the big key," he said.

What made his injury more frustrating was that it came after he was tackled at training and broke the bone.

And it was hit home to him after the weekend's win in Dunedin that one of the things that was missed while injured was sitting in the changing room with team-mates and celebrating a win like that, he said.

"It was unreal and it makes you appreciate every day we get to do this," he said.

It was the first time in a decade the side had won their first two games. But there was no room for complacency and there was another tough battle this week against the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.