Former All Black’s bold Crusaders call before Brumbies clash

With the Crusaders' season somewhat on the line, former All Black Mils Muliaina believes the defending champions are “the only team” that can upset the Brumbies in Canberra.

The Super Rugby Pacific champions, the Crusaders, have three games to save their season and it won't be easy ahead of clashes with the Brumbies, Blues and Moana Pasifika.

The Crusaders sit second on the ladder following their defeat to New Zealand rivals Highlanders in Dunedin last weekend, but are likely to jump into the top eight this weekend.

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If the Reds are good enough to secure a win over Fiji's Drua in Suva, it will open the door for the Crusaders should they edge out the high-flying Brumbies on Saturday.

“At home too, the way they play at home, (it's) very difficult going to Canberra to beat (the Brumbies) but if there's one team that can do it it's the Crusaders,” Rugby World Cup winner Mills Molina said. Stan Sports “Recall”.

He later added: “I think they're starting to get there.”

“They need this game and they need the Reds to win, and maybe if that happens, all they need is this win to get them into the quarter-finals this week.”

The Crusaders are boosted by the return of top five Fergus Burke for the first time this season. Burke with partner Noah Hotham at half-time after recovering from an Achilles injury.

This welcome decision by coach Rob Penney allowed All Black David Havili to move from the number 10 position to the inside position where he will link up with Jone Rova in midfield.

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But it's not all good news as All Blacks Tamaiti Williams, Scott Barrett and Ethan Blackadder are all missing from the attacking line-up.

Hooker Cody Taylor will captain the team for the second straight week.

“Last week, it was a great game in Dunedin. There were a lot of guys coming back. Cody Taylor was huge for me,” Molina explained.

“When you play under the roof, the Crusaders wanted to go to set-pieces, they wanted some fouls… but obviously (Scott) Barrett isn't back yet, it's still a huge task from this team.

“But it's a big task for me, Fergus Burke. Coming back; to be able to let (David) Havili go from one to 12 and run the cutter from there – you don't put as much responsibility on him in terms of the 10 role.

“For Fergus Burke to come in and play that pivotal role, I think that will be key.”


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