If the Crusaders think they can just pitch up at their home ground in the Super Rugby final against the Jaguares and walk away with the title, they have got another thing coming.
That’s the warning from the nine-time Super Rugby champs’ coach Scott Robertson ahead of their third-straight decider in Christchurch on Saturday.
While many would expect the back-to-back holders to steamroller the first-time finalists, Robertson says his players can’t be in cruise control when the match kicks off.
Of their opponents from Argentina, he says: “They’re good.
“We’re really impressed with their quality of play, their variation in their style of attack.
“They rank really highly in all the stats, defensively they’re second in the comp, they’ve got a lot of international experience.
“They’re on a roll.
“The passion and emotion they bring I think is a danger.
“If they come out and play with that energy, which is great and I enjoy that Latin expression that they bring, they’ll be emotional, they’ll be up for it, and they’ll be dangerous.”
With Ryan Crotty and Scott Barrett both ruled out of the clash, Robertson called on 23-year-old Mitchell Dunshea in the middle of the engine room, while Braydon Ennor will partner Jack Goodhue in the midfield.
15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Mitchell Dunshea, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
16 Andrew Makalio, 17 George Bower, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Will Jordan.