The Crusaders, like always, will be one of the teams to beat in the 2015 edition of Super Rugby.
It is becoming more and more of a common occurrence that Todd Blackadder and his Crusaders get off to slow starts in Super Rugby before finding form mid season.
So far 2015 hasn’t gotten off to the best start, three straight losses in the warm up trail games.
That includes a hefty 35-12 defeat to the Reds in the last of the warm ups.
According to FairFax Media, three All Blacks will be available in the Crusaders camp for Friday’s competition opener against the Rebels in Christchurch.
Those being All Black captain Richie McCaw, Ryan Crotty, and Wyatt Crockett.
All of these men are expected to get some game time on Friday night at AMI Stadium.
But with some All Black regulars set to return to the squad this week, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that perhaps the losing ways for the Crusaders are behind them as the competition begins proper.
The Crusaders are the most successful club in New Zealand’s Super Rugby history.
The men in red will always be tough to beat, on any ground and in any country.
The Crusaders were due for a title last season, they came within minutes of winning it, and if 2015 isn’t the time for a return to the top, when will be?
It is Daniel Carter’s last season with the Crusaders, a team he made his name before All Black days playing for, it is fitting to send him out on a high.
Three straight losses for the Crusaders isn’t something that happens all that often, and the fact that it has occurred in Super Rugby’s pre season is a good thing for fans in the south.
From Friday against the Rebels – results do matter.
Out of all the games for the first few rounds of Super Rugby, the opener against the Rebels looks to be the one most likely for a Crusaders victory because if pre season has showed us anything, both the Highlanders and the Chiefs won’t be easy beats for an understrength Crusaders outfit.