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Kieran Read in doubt for Crusaders

Kieran Read could miss the next few weeks of rugby

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Article Published: Saturday 7 July 2012|

Crusaders No.8 Kieran Read could miss his team's final regular season clash against the Western Force and the play offs if they qualify due to injury.

The Crusaders kept their Super Rugby title hopes alive on Friday when they beat the Chiefs 21-28 in Hamilton.

The victory may however come at a cost as Read suffered a heavy knock to his ribs which ended his game after 60 minutes.

"I think he's done a rib so I don't think he'll be right for next week," captain Richie McCaw told TVNZ.

The Crusaders may have rested Read anyway for next week as the Force presents the Crusaders the opportunity to rotate players.

Read is a crucial player for the All Blacks and the Crusaders so they will want to manage him as well as they can for the play offs.

"He provides (heaps), especially with ball in hand, he is a real threat," McCaw said about Read who has had a tough year with injuries.

"He gets the ball over the advantage line so having him back was huge...." he added. "But his leadership as well, he's pretty calm and does pretty well at lineout time."

McCaw admitted that the Crusaders had targeted the Chiefs forwards set pieces as they knew they were missing captain Craig Clarke.

"It didn't actually matter who the personal was. I think the key, especially with this Chiefs team with guys like (Aaron) Cruden, Sonny (Bill Williams) and the backline when they're getting nice set-piece ball they can wreak havoc," he said

"The best way to stop that is to stop to the source. We put a bit of work in there, as we have always been doing, I thought as a lineout everyone, props included, all did their homework and put a lot of pressure on.

"You could see once we got a couple (of wins against the throw) it turns back on them but we just kept getting up and forced them into mistakes."

With the Crusaders in fourth place and with a home game against the Force next weekend they should host a home semi-final in the first week of the playoffs as the first wild card qualifier.

A week ago their participation was in serious doubt after they had lost at home to the Hurricane and McCaw said they knew they had to perform this week.

"We were down to the point of the season where we had to win really. "

"After last week, we did some good things, but we're just a yard behind and that was the difference tonight," the Crusaders captain said.

"The intensity was a huge step up to what was last week and we had to be one the job or you say we would being having a holiday in a couple of weeks' time so at least we are still in the hunt which is good."

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