Keo.co.za brings you the top stories from New Zealand’s Super 14 franchises.
Teamwork key to halting the Crusade
The Hurricanes will need more than individual brilliance to stop the unbeaten Crusaders this Friday.
Ma’a Nonu has served his time for an illegal tackle and will return to the starting line-up this week. The All Black utility back told The Dominion Post the Hurricanes need a collective effort if they are going to force an upset.
“We always rely on our superstars to do something. When Tana [Umaga] was here we relied on him to make the breaks, or JC [Collins] or Rodders [So'oialo] to make the big hit. Collectively were haven’t relied on ourselves to do something.
“You can’t take away the fact the Crusaders are a good team. They’re a collective team and they’ve shown that for the last 10 years.
“They know that they’re good and they’re smart. We’ve got to have them on and do it for the whole 80 minutes, and take a few risks. You can’t miss any opportunities.”
Nonu also stressed the need for the Canes to make the most of possession. This game is not going to be won through a few turnovers like it was against the Brumbies.
“We have to make the play, we can’t let them play too much. We have to know what we’ve got planned and go for it. We’ve got to deliver the game plan.”
Rassie lauds Blues’ unpredictability
Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus believes the Blues’ unpredictable edge makes them very hard to beat.
The Stormers recently went down 17-14 to the Blues at Eden Park, a gutting defeat especially since the hosts weren’t at their best. But even though they are off the pace Erasmus said they will always be a threat.
“The thing that is tough about the Blues to coach against is that there aren’t specific guys that you can mark. When you go through the team, or their 22, then there are only three or four who aren’t special with the ball in hand,” said Erasmus.
“If you go through the team as an opposition coach, there aren’t many guys who can’t make something special out of nothing.”
Erasmus said this was evident in the one try the Blues scored last Saturday.
“It happened again [against us]. We put in a good kick, there was a good chase line and one missed tackle and then it’s a try. That makes them unpredictable.”
Nick Evans is likely to return to the flyhalf position for this week’s fixture against the Bulls. No 8 Nick Williams (shoulder injury) will have to pass a fitness test.