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Sun Apr 20 02:42:49 SAST 2014

McCaw credits fine start for win

TEAMtalk Media | 22 July, 2012 09:150 Comments
Super Rugby Qualifying Final - Crusaders v Bulls
Richie McCaw of the Crusaders runs with the ball during the Super Rugby playoff between the Crusaders and the Bulls at AMI Stadium on July 21, 2012 in Christchurch, New Zealand
Image by: Martin Hunter / Getty Images

Crusaders captain Richie McCaw believes his team's fine first-half effort was the key to their 28-13 play-off win over the Bulls in Christchurch on Saturday.

McCaw said the intensity of the start, where the Bulls were forced to make 74 tackles in the first half compared to the Crusaders' 24, was crucial to the outcome.

"In the first 40 minutes we played at the right end of the field," he explained.

"We didn't give them any momentum. We limited our mistakes and our discipline was good and because of that we applied pressure," he said.

"We had to defend our line a couple of times in the first half and then again in the second and in finals footy that's what you've got to be able to do and I thought all the guys showed good composure," added McCaw.

The Bulls' highly regarded set piece failed them, they were unsettled in the scrums, their rolling maul failed to make ground and fly-half Morne Steyn's usually reliable kicking radar was off.

Captain Pierre Spies said they were then made to pay dearly as the penalties flowed against them.

"The Crusaders kept putting us under pressure and they put points on the board and they played really well," he revealed.

"We came back and scored some points but the Crusaders were too good tonight," added Spies.

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McCaw credits fine start for win

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