Matson peppers talk with Japanese proverb

RICHARD KNOWLER
Last updated 05:00 24/07/2013
Tabai Matson
Getty Images
THINKING OUT OF THE BOX: Tabai Matson knows the Crusaders face an immense task against the Chiefs.

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

ACT Brumbies board gets big shake-up Crusaders' match in Fiji hangs in the balance Crusaders chairman Murray Ellis calls it quits Raw talent leaves Chiefs coach spoilt for choice Moore says Brumbies not distracted by off-field uncertainty NSW Waratahs assistant Daryl Gibson sets sights on All Blacks coaching role Excitement building over new Chief Seta Tamanivalu Crusaders make profit as board chairman Murray Ellis departs Matt Todd takes out Crusaders and Canterbury awards Queensland Reds keeping Tupou in cotton wool

A few eyebrows must have pinged skywards when Tabai Matson burst into Japanese in the Crusaders' war room.

During a five-year stint in Japan, where he played and later coached, Matson regularly attended language lessons and on Monday he rattled out the proverb "chiri mo tsumoreba yama to naru" when he addressed the Crusaders players.

"It means that if you pile up enough pieces of dust it creates a mountain," Crusaders' backs coach Matson translated.

Matson wasn't showing off.

He wanted to put a fresh angle on the importance of preparation ahead of Saturday night's Super Rugby semifinal against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

"So for us it is about piling up enough dust as possible. All those things that people don't see actually make a massive difference.

"Kieran Read talked about who will be the best prepared and that's what dust is - drinking well and sleeping well."

Following last weekend's 38-9 annihilation of the Reds, the Crusaders have been installed favourites to win the competition by the TAB but the senior players and coaches are ramming home the message to ignore the hype.

Midfielder Ryan Crotty has emphasised the importance of not missing pool sessions and addressing minor injuries, while hooker Corey Flynn urged everyone to be diligent with their analysis and training duties.

Matson said that could be the difference.

On July 5, the Crusaders thumped the Chiefs 43-15 at AMI Stadium, having lost 28-19 in the earlier derby match at Waikato Stadium.

And the 20-17 defeat in last year's semi in Hamilton still grates with the Crusaders blowing a home final against the travel-weary Sharks.

The Crusaders remain cautious about accepting the praise being heaped on them following the win over the Reds.

"You could see the Lions have taken a big toll on their Wallabies and I'll just leave it at that," Matson said. "They looked like a team who were on their last legs and we punished them for it."

Former midfielder Matson said he decided to learn Japanese after failing to learn French while playing for Brive.

"I was in France for two years and when I left I couldn't speak French and I was gutted," he said. So when I went to Japan, I studied about 20 hours a week."

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