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Crusaders relishing home advantage over Bulls

Crusaders captain Richie McCaw is pleased to be able to play the Bulls at home

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Article Published: Thursday 19 July 2012|

All Blacks and Crusaders captain Richie McCaw is relishing the chance to get one over on the Bulls who have knocked his team out of Super Rugby play offs three times in recent years.

The Crusaders lost to the Bulls in Super Rugby play offs in 2007, 2009 and 2010 but all three matches were played in South Africa and this weekend the match is in New Zealand.

"I probably owe them one. We've had some tough old battles over the years, but this is a new year," said McCaw after the Crusaders' final practice.

McCaw has been named to start the match out of place at No.8 after his fellow All Black star Kieran Read's rib injury failed to recover in time for the second week.

The Captain said that even though the Crusaders have home advantage this week it would mean nothing if they dropped their standards.

"You still have to do the job right and you can't go out thinking that it is going to be easier."

Having been through the stress of Super Rugby travel in the play off stages so often McCaw said that the Bulls might find the going gets a little tough as the match wears on and the travel takes it toll.

The Bulls have lost on their last seven visits to Christchurch but coach Todd Blackadder and McCaw said that the Crusaders would need to keep their discipline as Bulls goalkicker Morne Steyn will punish any of their indiscretions.

"The experience we've had over the last few years is that he keeps things ticking along just through our ill discipline. "

"Anywhere in your own half and it is fairly much three points guaranteed," McCaw told AAP.

McCaw said that he expects the Bulls to play an uncomplicated brand of rugby which is suited to the knockout phase.

"They're not real subtle how they approach it - they try and get on top physically and they can kick the ball from anywhere."

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