Crusaders ready for running of the Bulls
Kill the lineout drives and you chop off the Bulls' head.
If the South Africans launch their set-piece drives during tonight's Super preliminary final at AMI Stadium there is potential for chaos, although loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett says an early Crusaders strike could shift the momentum.
"It's similar to scrummaging, it's a physical battle of wills really; you can prepare yourself for it and we have worked on strategies on how to beat it in the past," Crockett noted. "It is about low body position and getting in nice and early and trying to disrupt it.
"We practise where each person had got to go, who they have to take out . . ."
Remaining alert should mean the Crusaders can sack the maul early but once numbers are added from both sides their task will be to halt its progress and monitor where the ball is.
Crockett acknowledged collapsing the rolling maul would not be an option under the gaze of referee Jaco Peyper and there will be a reliance on halfback Andy Ellis to summon his forwards into position.
"Certainly Andy has a part to play. When guys are peeling off and coming back round he is our eyes and directing us where we need to be.
"He will pull guys out if they are pulling guys out to attack with a little short-side run."
Bulls loosehead prop Dean Greyling will recall the last time the two sides met with some fondness. Having broken downfield near the 22m line he sold an outrageous dummy to Crusaders fullback Israel Dagg for a popular try at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
Openside flanker Matt Todd also acknowledged the Crusaders, who have not played a South African side since beating the Stormers on April 14, have to adjust their defence against a side expected to be more reluctant to shift the ball wide.
"There is a little bit of a change in the game plan, you have got to work hard to get back to support your back three because they do kick a lot.
"We still want to play our game, we don't want to - I guess - get sucked into playing the Bulls style of game. We still want to play our style."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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