Ellis on Hougaard alert
Crusaders scrum-half Andy Ellis is relishing the challenge of facing opposite number Francois Hougaard in Saturday's Super Rugby play-off clash.
The two halfbacks face-off once again in 2012, having gone head to head in Round Seven when the Bulls held on for a nail-biting 32-30 win at Loftus Versfeld.
"Hougaard is . . . explosive and the boys are probably going to have to be right on song around the rucks and stuff," Ellis told Fairfax NZ News.
"Also, he still kicks a lot and their wingers are really good at chasing and good in the air. We will be doing a lot of work on that this week."
The discarded All Blacks number nine, who was overlooked for New Zealand's three-Test series against Ireland, is encouraged by the opportunity of playing the Bulls in Christchurch rather than the rarefied air of Pretoria.
"It's great they have got to travel over and we get a chance to give them some back," Ellis said.
"I couldn't think of a better team to be playing really.
"We know they are a big physical pack, they are going to carry hard and you are probably going to get an elbow in the face every now and again but that is just expected in a big game from a big physical team."