Ellis: Saders still in the hunt

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Ellis: Saders still in the hunt

Scrumhalf Andy Ellis has sent out a clear warning to those teams looking to snatch the crown from the defending champions – disregard the Crusaders at your own peril.

While the Crusaders are dealing with a slump in form and an injury crisis which has inspirational skipper Rich McCaw sidelined for over a month, Ellis still believes his team can not only rescue their campaign, but go on to win the competition.

“Absolutely,” said Ellis. “We’ve done it before. If there’s anything that can bring a team together it’s something like this. It’s an exciting challenge from now, one we’re going to have to get up for.

“The key thing is how we respond to the situation we’ve been put in. That will determine the outcomes from here on in.”

This is not a completely unfamiliar position for the Crusaders. In 1998 they lost three of their first four games and managed to turn that into a title triumph, while in 2004 and 2007 they were beaten twice in the first three weeks of the competition.

“It really is a big ask now. But we know what we’ve got to do, and we know how we want to play,” added Ellis. “It’s a real shame we’ve lost some key individuals but it gives other guys a crack, and it is about the team, and if we run the method we’ve got in place it should all go to plan.”

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