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Discontent over scrum at the Crusaders

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/03/2017

Digby Ioane of the Crusaders, centre, celebrates his team's try during the match between the Crusaders and the Force on Friday, March 24, 2017. © AAP Image/SNPA, Adam Binns Digby Ioane of the Crusaders, centre, celebrates his team's try during the match between the Crusaders and the Force on Friday, March 24, 2017. Despite boasting one of the best scrums in Super Rugby, the Crusaders have felt the need to devote time to their set piece before facing the Waratahs in Sydney.

Last week's comfortable 45-17 win over the Western Force in Christchurch was riddled with scrum resets which ultimately chewed up plenty of time, particularly in the second half.

Crusaders assistant coach Jason Ryan said they were as much to blame for last week's stop-start spectacle which robbed them of one of their key attacking platforms.

It snatched momentum from their game and is something they can't afford to allow against the physical Waratahs.

"The scrums were disappointing really," Ryan said.

"It's important that we focus on what works well for us. We've got to scrummage what is in front of us.

"Our balance has to be right from the set up because no one wants to see that (resets) in the game."

Destructive All Blacks loosehead prop Joe Moody returns in place of Wyatt Crockett while Scott Barrett switches back to lock from the blindside flank, squeezing out Luke Romano.

The Waratahs' hopes took a dive this week with their Wallabies first five-eighth Bernard Foley ruled out with recurring concussion symptoms.

Ryan felt the hosts will feel the absence of the playmaker, who helped spark the remarkable second-half fightback to beat the Rebels last week.

"Foley is big for them, he was a big part of their comeback against the Rebels," Ryan said.

"He's a playmaker and makes a difference."

The Crusaders coaches are imploring the players to forget about their looming bye round next week.

Ryan says the danger is that players are half a second off the pace if they gaze at the prospect of going into the break with six wins from six.

"We are expecting it to be a real physical challenge against the Waratahs and we'll just play what is in front of us."

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