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Crusaders' All Blacks undergo crash course

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/06/2016
Prop Joe Moody is on his way to England as cover for 118-Test veteran Tony Woodcock who was injured in the All Blacks' 47-9 win over Tonga at the RWC. © Phil Walter/ Getty Images Prop Joe Moody is on his way to England as cover for 118-Test veteran Tony Woodcock who was injured in the All Blacks' 47-9 win over Tonga at the RWC.

Settling into Suva isn't the biggest adjustment the All Blacks players in the Crusaders have to make when they face the Chiefs on Friday.

Modifying their Test mindset back to Super Rugby methods will be the greater challenge.

Prop Joe Moody, who played in all three Tests against Wales in June, says motivation won't be a problem for the table-topping Crusaders, who sit just three points ahead of the Chiefs at the summit of the New Zealand conference.

However, it wasn't until he returned to training that Moody realised the crash-course nature of the week.

"It's not too tricky to refocus, that's probably the easy part," he said.

"But switching off from all the ABs plays and moves and getting back to the Crusaders stuff is probably the harder part."

Eight of the Crusaders were involved in the All Blacks' third Test win over Wales in Dunedin.

Kieran Read, who is captain of both teams, says the six-day turnaround is a challenge but he thought that was long enough to reintegrate to the red and black pattern of play.

"It is a tough thing to do, but it won't take too long," he said.

"Your mind starts to remember what it was like a month or so ago. We've played under this system the last few years."

Read described the match as pivotal in terms of Super Rugby play-off machinations.

Arguably the best-performed All Black throughout the Welsh series, No.8 Read says he feels physically fine and there was never any question of him sitting out the game.

"When you think of the rivalry we've got with the Chiefs, and the way the season's panned out, this is a big game for us."

He hopes his team will trump the Chiefs in terms of support from the National Stadium crowd in Suva.

While the Chiefs are "hosts", they boast Lautoka-born All Blacks centre Seta Tamanivalu as their sole Fijian.

The Crusaders feature two Fiji-born players - wingers Nemani Nadolo and Jone Macilai - with the hulking Nadolo having scored 17 tries in 23 Tests for Fiji.

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