Charmed run for McCaw ahead of Bulls clash
On this occasion Crusaders captain Richie McCaw has no dodgy foot, anxious nation or injured Dan Carter to concern him.
In October, McCaw was counting down the hours ahead of the World Cup quarterfinal against Argentina at Eden Park on October 9.
It was an anxious time for the All Blacks captain.
Having reaggravated the metatarsal bone in his right foot, which had had a screw inserted earlier that year, he declined an X-ray because he was concerned about what might be found.
The danger of encouraging negative thoughts was too great, he determined.
Rather than have injections McCaw took Voltarin and Panadol two days before the match.
After the tournament it was revealed he had a second fracture.
He was also without Crusaders team-mate Carter for the World Cup playoffs, with the first five-eighth having ruptured his groin muscle before the final pool match against Canada.
By comparison McCaw has had a relatively charmed run while preparing for tomorrow night's Super preliminary final against the Bulls at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
His foot, which required another screw after the World Cup and delayed his return to the Crusaders until the 10th-round match against the Waratahs on April 29, has stopped causing grief, and Carter is fully fit.
The only blip is the absence of No 8 Kieran Read, who is nursing a rib injury.
Recovering from foot surgery, McCaw missed the Crusaders' 32-30 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria on April 8.
With Read injured, McCaw will wear the No 8 jersey opposite Bulls captain Pierre Spies tomorrow night.
He was wearing his more familiar No 7 jersey when the Crusaders got rolled in the semis in South Africa in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
Lessons, especially from the 2009 36-23 defeat when an early lead dissipated, needed to be absorbed, he said.
"I think back to Pretoria in 2009 when we got to a good lead and made two vital mistakes before halftime and they scored 14 points and got a drop goal . . . those moments were the difference."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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