Crusaders ready for running of the Bulls

RICHARD KNOWLER
Last updated 05:00 21/07/2012
Dean Greyling
Photosport
CHARGING: Dean Greyling of the Bulls in action.

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

Tough start, juicy finish for Hurricanes in 2015 Highlanders fixture list includes a date to circle Crusaders set to take game to Nelson in 2015 Hamilton to host just five Chiefs games in 2015 Crusaders to get Super Rugby season started Is Auckland's franchise singing the Blues? Boyd confident Vince Aso ready for step up No 10 Dan Carter won't rush return from injury Jimmy Cowan signs with Blues for Super Rugby Future remains up in the air for Wayne Smith

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."

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Special offers
Opinion poll

What do you make of the Blues signing Jimmy Cowan?

It's a great move. His experience is needed.

The jury's still out for me. Let's wait and see.

It's a desperate move. Respectfully, Cowan is past it.

The Blues have bigger worries than halfback.

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content