Rassie raves over Crusaders

Cheetahs coach Rassie Erasmus can’t see any side dethroning the Crusaders in this year’s Vodacom Super 14.

The Free Staters were smashed 53-17 by the champions in Christchurch on Saturday, a week after losing 53-20 to the Brumbies. Having also played the Waratahs (lost 26-3 in Sydney) and Hurricanes (won 27-25 in Bloem), Erasmus can compare the top four teams of 2006.

“If you ask me, the two better teams are the Brumbies and the Crusaders,” he said. “In my eyes the Waratahs have a really solid defence and individual guys who can step you. But the Crusaders have got a system where they have individual guys and are helluva organised. For the team that is going to beat the Crusaders at home, it is going to be very tough.”

Erasmus said his Cheetahs side could simply not match the Crusaders’ vast experience.

“They have been together for five or six years … experienced guys can change things quickly. We tried to try things this week and obviously if you have just one week it won’t last 80 minutes. And that’s what you saw on Saturday.

“If your team has played as many games as the Crusaders have together, you just alter your defence, zoom in and stop teams in their tracks.”

The Cheetahs take on the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday in what is regarded as their easiest overseas fixture. However, the Hicks have been successful against SA sides over the last two weeks, drawing 26-all with the Bulls and beating the Stormers 30-20.