Crusaders

Crusaders made the right decisions: Deans

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Crusaders coach Robbie Deans rarely gets things wrong in rugby but he conceded that his players took the right options when they beat the Waratahs at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Friday.


The Waratahs looked like they might pull off an upset when Wycliff Palu scored a try against play in the 49th minute to take a 7-6 lead over tournament leaders, the Crusaders and Deans thought his team might use width to try and outflank the defensively solid Waratahs team.


The Crusaders had tried the tactic in the first half without getting the desired result but they elected to take the challenge to the Waratahs.


They were rewarded with two tries ‘ to Number eight Mose Tuiali’i and prop Wyatt Crockett ‘ through the pick and go method and a tiring Waratahs defence leaked four tries in the second half during their 34-7 loss.


“They were right and we were wrong.” Deans told Sportal.


“Looking from behind the glass we felt we could have gone for width at times, but they backed themselves to grind it out and they achieved that,” said Deans about his forwards decision to grind it forwards up front.


Deans said that while he felt there were times when the ball could have been moved quickly to the outsides he realised that it was the players on the field who could ‘feel the chemistry’ and make the correct calls.


Waratahs captain, flanker Phil Waugh, was disappointed with with the team’s second loss in five games and said, “We are very disappointed and we didn’t exert control when we needed to in the second half. But they (Crusaders) hung in there to the end and did well.


“We were coming off the bye and now we will return to Sydney (to play the Cheetahs next Friday in round seven) and will hopefully improve on tonight’s performance,” said Waugh.


Casey Laulala who was making his 100th appearance in red-and-black colours (48 for the Crusaders, 52 for Canterbury) said after the match that the Crusaders superior fitness played an important part in the result.


He said that he had noticed some of the Waratahs forwards were breathing hard when turning back to chase kicks in the second half.


“We sort of knew their fitness wasn’t up to scratch and that we could go the distance. We just kept playing.


“We have a strong spirit and it’s hard to break,” said Laulala.

 

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