Rival coach makes bold statement about Crusaders.

Under former coach Scott Robertson, the Crusaders built an unmatched legacy, winning seven tiles in as many years. Maybe the side to beat in Super Rugby Pacific 2024 will be the Crusaders, even as the champion is ready to welcome in a new era without its departed players.

The Crusaders want to continue their incredible run of supremacy into a record-breaking eighth season under the direction of new coach Rob Penney. Their culture and team spirit are built around success.

It was a historic night for rugby in the southern hemisphere when the team defeated the Lions in Johannesburg back in 2017. Coach Robertson celebrated the first of many titles at Ellis Park with his signature breakdance.

However, no one anticipated what would happen. The Crusaders have pursued a kind of glory that might never be matched with their dominance, tenacity, and passion.

The sole blemish on the Crusaders’ nearly flawless run of success comes in 2021 when the Blues win the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman title at Eden Park.

Rival coach Clark Laidlaw isn’t among those who dare write the Crusaders off before 2024 as they get ready for a new era without Richie Mo’unga, Sam Whitelock, and Scott Robertson.

Coach Clark Laidlaw of the Hurricanes told The Platform, “I think in the end, they’re the only team that knows how to win it over the last seven years.”

“Maybe Brad Shields and TJ Perenara, but I believe I’ve attempted to figure out how many rugby players in the nation (not) with the Crusaders know what it takes to win Super Rugby. I was also trying to figure out whether there are any other players or any other side that has truly won Super Rugby.

“Although the Crusaders are a club that understands how to win, we all have the same objective and believe that at this point in the season we’re good enough to make it to the playoffs and win.

“Preparing well, connecting well, and training extremely hard are all important, but the real challenge for all of us is to develop a game that can perform at the conclusion of the season.

“I’m sure they’ll still be one of the teams to beat because of their experience and the knowledge the playing group will gain.”

The Hurricanes were the last team to celebrate their Super Rugby victory in the streets of Wellington prior to the Crusaders’ historic spell of dominance.

Wellingtonians watched in wonder as Beauden Barrett’s brilliant effort brought the first Super Rugby title to the Kiwi city as the rain came down sideways at the Cake Tin.

However, in the years that have passed, the Hurricanes haven’t truly closed. No team has, aside from the Blues, as the Crusaders dominated the competition like never before.

The Canes are aiming for a home semifinal as they try to make history under the direction of former All Blacks Sevens coach Laidlaw, their new boss.

According to Laidlaw, “aiming for a home semifinal gives you a real fighting chance to go on and win it.”

“You need to win enough games to qualify for the playoffs, and you’re only three games away from taking home the championship. First things first. As we all know.

We also know that history suggests it’s quite tough to win away from home. This was the Crusaders’ accomplishment from the previous year, when they won in South Africa.

“We are conscious of that. We must begin strongly.

We know that Kiwi derbies ultimately determine whether a team advances to the home semifinals or not, so the real focus is on how we can go into those two Australian games well prepared to try and come back.


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