Deans ‘lives in the here and now’




Crusaders mentor Robbie Deans, as is his custom, refuses to dwell on past successes. And immediately following his side’s annihilation of the Force, Deans is warning that the Crusaders will have to move along.

The champion side now travels to Dunedin to face the Highlanders away from home, and Deans is making sure his charges are up for a fresh challenge.

“The Highlanders are a side who always rise a notch or two for us, as you would expect given that it is a local derby,” Deans said in his regular column for the Crusaders official website.

“Looking ahead, what you won’t see now is a Crusaders side that now sits still.

“We can’t afford to.

“As a team, we are by no means a complete unit yet, nor will you catch any member of our group buying into theories about what may or may not happen later on in the tournament.

“Such predictions are the right of the fans, and a luxury that is the domain of the press corps, who don’t actually have to get out there and play the game.

“For us, the only thing that matters is the next contest that we will have, which happens to be a very difficult assignment against the Highlanders in Dunedin.

“We must, and will, live in the here and now.”

But Deans was also quick to point out that last Saturday’s victory was a win that deserved to be celebrated and enjoyed.

“There is no denying the players didn’t enjoy Saturday night’s performance.

“Of course they did, as did our management group and wider player group, but we enjoyed it because we had all worked hard and prepared accurately for the performance, and duly reaped the reward from that.”

The Crusaders mastermind pointed to the less visible aspects of his side’s game that were particularly pleasing to him.

“Perhaps the most pleasing aspects came from the actions our players took that you might not necessarily have seen.

“I’m talking about players working hard off the ball, guys getting off the ground quickly in defence after making one tackle to support their mates and make another, or players getting back quickly following kicks in behind to provide the ball carrier with additional options.

“All of these things are indicators of attitude, and reflect the hunger and desire that exists within a group.”

Deans was complimentary of his side’s weekend opponents.

“From what we have seen, the Highlanders have played some pretty fair rugby this year too.

“They will have been disappointed to concede last weekend’s game to the Chiefs, but that frustration only makes them more dangerous as far as we are concerned.

“We returned from Sydney feeling frustrated with how we had played, and you could see last Saturday how that motivated and focused our squad.

“They will be the same, which will add to the task of beating them at Carisbrook.”


365 Digital

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