Burt 'stoked' to get run as a Crusader

GOT A CHANCE: Steve Burt is running on in a Crusaders shirt.
GOT A CHANCE: Steve Burt is running on in a Crusaders shirt.

With his heart almost beating through his red and black jersey, Steve Burt tried to slow down time and saviour running on to his home ground as a Crusader.

The South Canterbury centre, who played in the 2012 Heartland Championship as a player of origin, got his chance late in the third quarter of the Crusaders' 27-26 loss to the Hurricanes in a pre-season clash at Alpine Energy Stadium on Saturday.

Burt also had a familiar face next to him on the bench and on the field. His South Canterbury midfield partner, Faa'atu Tuamoheloa, received a late call-up on Friday night and played the final 20 minutes at second-five.

Burt said he now realised how professional the Crusaders' set-up was.

"I didn't expect to get out there but it was exciting to be amongst it and put the jersey on and when they said I was getting out there, I was stoked.

"It [the Crusaders environment] is so professional, you really notice the step-up from club footy.

"It was cool to have Faa'atu alongside me . . . There was a lot of preparation before the game. I just wanted to stop and take it all in and be happy that I was out there with that jersey on because it is something I've always wanted to do."

Burt said he was happy with his performance, describing it as solid, while he also believed he had learned just how much communication went on between the players, particularly in defence.

The 21-year-old, who plays his rugby for Lincoln University, said he would look to improve aspects of his preparation and put in more hard yards for the new season, thanks to his short spell with the Crusaders.

The Timaru Herald