Mind games ramp up between Crusaders and Waratahs

THE mind games have continued ahead of Saturday night's Super Rugby final between the Waratahs and Crusaders, with Tahs coach Michael Cheika claiming underdog status despite the team being $1.75 favourites with Tattsbet.

Cheika said in his view the Crusaders deserved to have top billing after winning their last 11 games against his team.

"Usually we're trying to play for that status, and they've given it to us perfectly. We don't have to worry or fight for it," he said.

"I'm not insulted. They're the ones that have been in the finals the last 11 years or whatever."


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The teams have not met this season, but star Crusaders flanker Richie McCaw said the Brumbies had provided his team with some insight into the Tahs strengths and weaknesses in last Saturday night's semi-final, which the Tahs won 26-8.

"If you give them space and allow them to get their confidence up, they showed they'll be a tough animal," McCaw said.

"But I think the Brumbies showed that you can put pressure on them."

Despite winning a franchise record eight-straight games going into the final, the Waratahs' lineout has been patchy at times.

And the Crusaders have also made no secret they will be going after the hosts' forward pack.

"We need to stop them coming forward and hopefully we can do that with a really good, physical defensive line," Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett said.


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