LIVE

    Blues wary of Crusaders backlash

    2016-03-01 14:03

    Auckland - Blues captain Jerome Kaino has warned his side that the Crusaders will come back firing after their loss to the Chiefs in the opening round.

    The Auckland-based franchise face the seven-time champions on Friday, and Kaino has urged his troops to prepare for the clash, knowing that Christchurch side will be looking for a comeback after they went down 27-21 at home.

    "They'll be grumpy, that's for sure," Kaino told the Stuff.co.nz website.

    "We saw against the Chiefs how good their forward pack are, especially their scrum and their line-out.

    "And their intensity will only ramp up after a loss.

    "They'll be well structured and well drilled but their intensity and physicality will ramp up a little bit just because they'll be a bit grumpy.

    "It will be a great test and we need to be mentally prepared for that.

    "We haven't won down there in a while and we'll have to be composed and be prepared for what's coming."

    Kaino, who missed the Blues' season opener against the Highlanders, was impressed by his side's 33-31 winning performance over the defending champions, and particularly lauded their defence and perseverance shown by the squad.

    "It was tense at times but just the way the boys adapted our game-plan to how they defended impressed me," he said.

    "Also how we hung in there. They put a lot of heat on us early but the boys had the resolve to fight back and adapt how we played.

    "In the past I don't think we would have seen a Blues team adapt like that and come back stronger, so that was pleasing."

    The All Blacks loose forward said that one thing head coach Tana Umaga brought to the squad was a realisation that Saturday's result was just one result alone, and that they still need to improve areas of concern.

    "There are a lot of guys here who have been around for a while and understand the competition," he added.

    "We know it's a grind, and this is just one game. We've seen the Blues come out firing first game and get good wins.

    "We've been here before, and we haven't backed it up the next few games, we know what's ahead.

    "By no means was it a perfect performance. We know that, we take a lot of confidence out of knowing we're heading in the right direction, but we know we still need to polish up a lot of areas or we'll be back where we were."

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk

    Fixtures

    Friday, 30 June 2017
    • Sharks v Bulls, Growthpoint Kings Park 19:00
    Saturday, 01 July 2017
    • Jaguares v Kings, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 01:05
    • Cheetahs v Stormers, Toyota Stadium 15:05
    • Lions v Sunwolves, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 07 July 2017
    • Reds v Brumbies, Suncorp Stadium 11:45
    • Force v Rebels, nib Stadium 13:55

    Results

    09 June 2017
    03 June 2017
    02 June 2017
    28 May 2017
    27 May 2017
    26 May 2017
    21 May 2017
    20 May 2017
    19 May 2017
    13 May 2017
    12 May 2017
    06 May 2017
    05 May 2017
    30 April 2017
    29 April 2017
    28 April 2017
    22 April 2017
    21 April 2017
    15 April 2017
    14 April 2017
    09 April 2017
    08 April 2017
    07 April 2017
    02 April 2017
    01 April 2017
    31 March 2017
    25 March 2017
    24 March 2017
    18 March 2017
    17 March 2017
    11 March 2017
    10 March 2017
    04 March 2017
    03 March 2017
    02 March 2017
    25 February 2017
    24 February 2017
    23 February 2017

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    SA Rugby need to cut two Super Rugby teams for next year's tournament. Help them out!

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.