Brumbies prop James Slipper admits the ACT side still has to iron out their ebbs and flows but says they still have confidence they’re on the right track.
The Brumbies have shown some exciting rugby at times this season, with wins over the Waratahs and Chiefs, but they have struggled at other times, dropping two games to the Rebels, one to the Reds and another to the Hurricanes across the ditch.
Slipper said the side had to perform better under pressure after coughing up some key games, admitting it was still a “work in progress”.
“I’m sure the coaches would love to hear that one as well,” he said.
“It starts at training for us.
“I think performing under pressure is one of the hardest things to do for any sport.
“We’re learning how to do that probably a bit longer than what we wanted to.
“It’s a work in progress. It’s a big challenge this weekend to see where we’re at.”
Despite their roller coaster season to this point, Slipper said the side still had faith that they were heading in the right direction.
“We’re definitely confident,” he said.
“We know when we play well we can be competitive, that hasn’t changed at all, it’s just probably our consistency that’s hurt us.
“One week we’d play really good footy, the next week we’d probably let ourselves down in certain areas.
“I think we’ve just been a bit patchy throughout the games.
“So, for us that’s been a big work on is obviously playing better rugby for longer periods of time and I think when we do that we can put teams under pressure.
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“In terms of confidence and belief in what we’re doing, that hasn’t changed at all.”
The Crusaders have lost just once this year, a 20-12 defeat to the Waratahs, but they are coming off an emphatic win over the Hurricanes.
This will be their first game in Christchurch since the tragic terror attacks that killed 50 people in the city and the emotional factor will only add to the threat they pose on the field.
Slipper said the key for the Brumbies was ensuring they were at their best, well aware of the danger the Crusaders pose, particularly at home.
“There’s no point looking at what they can do, everyone knows what they can do. So, it’s about turning up and playing a game you’re proud of, walking off the field knowing that you’ve done everything you can and we believe as a group that when we do that we can be competitive and if not, win the game,” he said.
“There’s no doubt about it, it’s going to be hard but it’s a challenge we’re excited by.”
Brumbies prop Allan Alaalatoa is expected to be back in the selection frame after suffering a wrist injury but it is unclear whether fellow Test star David Pocock will have overcome a calf injury in time.
The Brumbies take on the Crusaders on Saturday April 6 in Christchurch, kicking off at 3:15pm AEDT, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.