Crusaders captain Kieran Read says that they are already looking at their penultimate regular season Super Rugby match as a Semi-final.The Super Rugby play offs are still two weeks ago but as there is a mathematical chance that the Crusaders can win the New Zealand Conference Read says that their only focus is on beating the Chiefs.
“Our mental shift is this is a semi-final,” he told NZ Newswire.
“We’re not worrying about the permutations. The case for us is about getting a win and getting ourselves in the top six. We’re primed to go.”
The Crusaders are currently sitting in fifth place in the overall Super Rugby standings and Read says, “if we don’t get it right we’re going home”.
Read believes that home advantage and the support of what promises to be a sell out crowd will lift their performance against a team that they have lost three out of the last four meetings.
Earlier this year the Crusaders lost 28-19 to the Chiefs in Hamilton after they gifted the Chiefs two tries from charged-down kicks and then conceded a late penalty which cost them the losingb bonus point.
Read says that the Chiefs have been the benchmark all year but is confident that the Crusaders can play better than they did in their last meeting.
“They probably can as well,” he said of the Chiefs, “so we have to make sure the intensity is right and we give our all.”