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Filipo in doubt for Crusaders

Fotopress

Monday, April 24, 2006    Sportal.co.nz    Fotopress

Filipo left the field early in the second half during Friday's 23-23 draw with the Western Force in Perth.

Crusaders doctor Deb Robinson said Filipo will be assessed in midweek before a final decision is made.

Captain and flanker Richie McCaw and lock Kevin O'Neill suffered cuts above their eyes in the game but are expected to be available for selection.

Meanwhile, coach Robbie Deans had plenty to ponder as the team was flying across the Indian Ocean, especially when considering the latter stages of the competition.

Deans said that should the Crusaders meet the Waratahs again, first five-eighths Mat Rogers will be a key player.

Rogers missed the preliminary round clash in Christchurch which the Crusaders won.

Deans told The Australian: "He's [Rogers] such a threat down the inside channel.

"He commands attention. He also has the ability to put someone away down the outside channel.

"He is such a great athlete, quick and strong. He commands so much attention he creates opportunities for others."

Deans said another match in the finals will be 'a unique contest.'

"Let's hope we do meet again because it means we would have made it.

"It will be an effort in the next one."

Deans was also mindful of the challenge the Crusaders will face from the Brumbies in the last round of regular play at Christchurch on May 12.

The Brumbies will miss first five-eighths Stephen Larkham but they are well enough organised to compensate for that.

"They are a well organised group. They have order, structure and collective understanding.

"If anyone can continue to perform, it's them, but it will present challenges," he said.