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Crusaders' worst fears not realised

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Sunday, April 14, 2019    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Coach Scott Robertson said they were the last team to have a bye but with the All Blacks rotation policy which had worked well as the All Blacks were all fresh, it had challenged the team management to use their whole squad, most of whom have played.

"There's some real positives around it and it's a good week to have off," he said.

Being the halfway point of the season, Robertson said the side had struck some adversity, there had been some injuries of note, there had been player debuts, there had been come from behind victories and the issues in their community that had hurt them all.

"I'm just proud that we have stayed tight, trusted our system and we're still having fun every week. We've got good momentum so coming out of the bye is really critical to us to regain it and keep having fun," he said.
The side would have the full week off but would reassemble knowing they had a Friday night game against the Lions so would need to be smart and maximise their time and get their rhythm back ahead of that game.

"We've had some great games against the Lions in the past few years so it'll be no different," he said.

While he would be heading to Fiji for a week off with his family, the team management had already done a lot of preparation for the Lions, and there were lessons from Friday's win over the Highlanders to also consider, especially the high penalty concession in the game with the Crusaders being hit 18 times.

Robertson said while the penalties at scrum time had swung either way it was something they would have to look out but it was the lack of discipline in the final quarter and the lack of patience when defending that they would need to work on.

The ball would come back at some stage and the side didn't need to overhunt or be too eager, they just needed to be smart, he said.