Taylor: referees' tackle calls were no surprise

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Monday, February 26, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

The Crusaders-Chiefs game turned on a high tackle by Chiefs loose forward Lachlan Boshier on Crusaders centre Ryan Crotty in the act of his trying to score a try. A penalty try resulted and Boshier was sin-binned missing the end of the game.

"We saw the week before [in the opening round in South Africa] where penalties went the same way. Our job is to go out there and make our tackles but do it legally," Taylor said.

"We talked about it all off-season that we aren't going to get away with anything and if you're going to go in higher that's the risk you take."

It could be tough when a big man was attempting to tackle a smaller player but it was the job of the players to play safe rugby.

"The way we look after that is by tackling properly," he said.

"The refs have gone really hard at it which is a good thing. It means we do have to settle down. As a team we do have to make sure our discipline is right in terms of the tackle. I think the refs are going to ref it the same throughout the season. Any foul play is deemed a penalty and potentially a yellow [card]," he said.

With changes to scrum applications, Taylor said there had been a lot of emphasis on doing well and there had been a couple of second half scrums where the Crusaders had been able to build momentum with powerful scrums.

Scrum coach Jason Ryan said the Crusaders had done a lot of work in the pre-season on their scrum. With no pre-engagement there had to be a gap.

"I thought as an eight, particularly in the five minutes after halftime, we turned the Chiefs over and it was a real energy-giver. Mike Alalaatoa has had a massive pre-season and has come back in great shape and he's leading our scrum really well. Ollie Jager came on as well. Your tightheads are an important part and I thought they scrummed outstandingly the pair of them,' he said.

So far as the Stormers were concerned, Ryan felt from the evidence of their game against the Waratahs that they would be right up for the scrummaging contest with their big forward pack.

"[Steven] Kitshoff at loosehead is reasonably destructive. He's played a lot of Tests for South Africa, played a lot in France so we've got to be right up for it. We will be but they're bigger men, bigger athletes so you have got to prepare a little differently," he said.