Way too soft against Blues, says Crotty

RICHARD KNOWLER
Last updated 05:00 08/03/2013

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

ACT Brumbies name unchanged side to face Western Force James Horwill, Ben Tapuai back for Queensland Reds Waratahs' Adam Ashley-Cooper out of clash with Queensland Reds John Kirwan gives Frank Halai, Francis Saili chance to impress with Blues Highlanders make six changes to face Chiefs Karmichael Hunt, Gold Coast Titans pair due in court on drug charges Crusaders Knights hit-out for Kieran Read to prepare for Super Rugby return Highlanders desperate to turn chances into tries against the Chiefs Chiefs likely robbed of Brodie Retallick for three Super Rugby matches Chiefs lock Matt Symons has big call to make as his rise up the ranks continues

Ryan Crotty wants the Crusaders to get angry.

A lack of aggression proved a scourge for the Crusaders during last weekend's loss to the Blues and not surprisingly midfielder Crotty knows a repeat performance will be deemed unacceptable against the Hurricanes tonight.

The Crusaders plans to reinvent their attack failed to reap a try at Eden Park but Crotty said that blaming the misfire on their first Super Rugby outing was no excuse.

The issue, he said, was that the Crusaders backs were not aggressive enough when engaging the Blues in combat.

"We just weren't running hard enough. We have to smash the line to get go-forward and you can get quick ball on the end of that and you can attack again," Crotty said.

"It is a new system for the guys and we are still in the learning process, but no excuses. It's competition time and we have to be doing the job on the field."

Crotty and Robbie Fruean will grapple with Hurricanes midfielders Tim Bateman and Conrad Smith at the Cake Tin after being overshadowed by the Blues Francis Saili and Rene Ranger in Auckland.

Controlling the collisions, especially near the touchlines, will be paramount.

Crotty noted the breakdown starts with the ball-carry and if that is not sharp the Hurricanes will "have a dig" and make the most of turnover opportunities out wide.

Although clean line-breaks against a Blues defensive screen engineered by former All Blacks coach Graham Henry were scarce, Crotty was still encouraged by what the Crusaders achieved at Eden Park.

Post-match analysis proved they "were still bending the line" on attack but those promising moves stalled by handling mistakes or sloppy work at the breakdown.

"We are still making yards - but at times it was just about the last guy owning the ball-carry. And if you own that you have chances for off-loads and that is how you can break the line."

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which 2015 NZ Super Rugby team looks best?

Blues

Chiefs

Crusaders

Highlanders

Hurricanes

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content