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Reds looking forward to Crusaders challenge

Reds Director of coach Ewen McKenzie will take over as Wallabies coach next month

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Article Published: Saturday 13 July 2013|

Reds Director of coach Ewen McKenzie says that facing the Crusaders in Christchurch next weekend in the qualifying play offs will be a "really good challenge".

The Reds recorded their fifth straight win over the Waratahs and retain The Templeton Cup with a 14-12 triumph in their final regular season Super Rugby fixture for 2013.

The result means that the Reds finish the the regular season in fifth position with 10 victories, two draws and four losses.

Wallaby leaders James Horwill and Will Genia are targeting a return for that match, the Reds third successive Super Rugby Finals Series appearance, and they will also take added confidence from their victory over long-time interstate rivals, the Waratahs.

"The Templeton Cup celebrates the contest against NSW and is up for grabs every time we play, so to retain it for a fourth straight occasion is especially pleasing given it took a long time for us to get it back," said Reds Director of Coaching Ewen McKenzie.

"We now go and play the most experienced finals team of all-time right in their backyard. "

"That's a challenge but we've had some success over the Crusaders during the past few years.

"We haven't played them this year so it's a really good challenge to see where we are at."

With Horwill and Genia out thsi week the Reds were captained by Prop James Slipper who's enormous work rate was matched by a strong game at the breakdown by Liam Gill and in attack by Nick Frisby.

McKenzie said that he was pleased with the Reds performance given that it was their first Super Rugby match since June the 1st.

"We did a lot of tackling tonight and in the end that's what got us home," McKenzie said.

"We've had a period off so you have to start somewhere and tonight we got the win."

"That gives us some momentum going in."

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