McCaw: We don't want to return

    2011-05-05 07:48
    Stephen Nell

    Cape Town -The Crusaders always enjoy a visit to South Africa’s' Mother City, but part of the motivation for Saturday's Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Stormers at Newlands is to ensure that they don't have to return later this season.

    "This match may be important when we get towards the end of the competition. The Stormers (second on the overall log) are right at the top and the reality is that you want to be in the top two when it comes to the knockout stages," said Crusaders captain Richie McCaw.

    "If we allow the Stormers to get away it could mean that we have to come here again to win it."

    The Stormers are leading the South African conference with 42 log points. They are two points ahead of the Crusaders, who are fourth on the overall log and second in the New Zealand conference behind the Blues.

    Each of the three conference winners will automatically qualify for the knockout phases irrespective of their positions on the overall log.

    However, the two conference winners with the most points on the overall log will go straight through to the semi-finals and therefore receive another bye.

    New Zealand referee Chris Pollock will officiate in the game and McCaw believes the best way for both teams of staying on the right side of him will be to dominate the gain line.

    "How you go at the breakdowns depends a lot on what is happening at the gain line. It's a lot easier when you're going forward," he said.

    “It will be important this week because the Stormers have showed that they exert a lot of pressure at the breakdowns.

    "When you get go forward ball and you get it in the right areas, it doesn't matter. That way you make sure the referee's interpretation does not cost you."

    Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said earlier in the week that last year's 14-42 defeat had not featured as a talking point in their camp ahead of this weekend's game.

    However, McCaw mentioned that it was still in the players' memories.

    "We still remember last year and it didn't go well. We want to sort that out," said the captain.

    He is encouraged by the Reds' recent win over the Stormers.

    "The Reds showed they are beatable. They played a smart game and attacked in the right areas of the field. No defence is infallible. If we are able to stretch them, there will always be some space."

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