NZ Rugby World
A TREASURE TROVE OF RICHES
It’s di cult to know where to start here, whether it’s the Crusaders renowned set piece which Robertson and assistant coach Jason Ryan take so much pride in, their near impenetrable defence (high on Robertson’s portfolio), their inventive and always-threatening No 10 Richie Mo’unga, or the threats among their outside backs: George Bridge, Sevu Reece, David Havili and Will Jordan.
Their depth and the preparedness of their younger players under Robertson is unsurpassed in Super Rugby.
All of those elements are factors but perhaps it begins with an expectation of excellence and performance no matter the line-up which takes the field.
Certainly, that’s one thing that surprised former assistant coach Ronan O’Gara, the former Ireland test first-five, when he was at the Crusaders.
In an interview a couple of years ago, O’Gara recounted how he thought the Crusaders were at a severe disadvantage after arriving in Wellington to play the Hurricanes without the likes of the injured Sam Whitelock and six others, only for Robertson to reply that he was sure the Crusaders would win. “I can remember the lightbulb moment,” O’Gara said. “I thought we [were going to get smashed] and he didn't see it like that.” Suffice to say, the Crusaders are a very well-rounded team, and very difficult to beat.