Crusaders assistant coach Tabai Matson says that they will need more than brute force to beat current Super Rugby champions the Chiefs this weekend.
The Crusaders attempted to beat the Chiefs in last year's Super Rugby semi-final using strong-arm but failed as they lost 20-17 and the Chiefs went on to beat the Sharks 37-6.
After that loss last year Crusaders backs coach Daryl Gibson left to join the Waratahs and Matson was promoted from Crusaders skills coach to being assistant coach after he guided Canterbury to an NPC title.
Matson says that the Crusaders will not be foolish again and dig themselves into a hole by relying solely on brute force.
"Muscle is not enough," Matson told Fairfax NZ News.
"Just more balance; we have got to be able to do all things well."
"If we just try to go in there trying to swing a sledgehammer - it doesn't always work against them."
The Crusaders coaches Todd Blackadder, Matson and Aaron Mauger now have to come up with a strategy that combats the Chiefs tactic of encouraging Cruden to kick for territory and the forwards drive opponents into making errors.
"They are technically really sound, defensively very strong and have a stable set-piece," Matson said.
"You can't bully them. They are the team that plays with the ball the least. For us, it is going to be a bit of a game of chess against them."
The Chiefs form of late has been scratchy and they have been hit by injuries but they have still managed to win 9 of their 12 matches.
Wet weather is expected in Hamilton this weekend which will probably prevent the Crusaders from using an adventurous game plan.