Crusaders rookie not scared of Savea

Date published: May 1 2015

Crusaders young winger David Havili won't be intimidated by taking on his opposite man Julian Savea on Saturday.

The 20-year-old has come into the Crusaders side after injuries to Johnny McNicholl and Robbie Fruean, impressing during his appearances so far.

Going up against the All Blacks number one winger will be another test of character for Havili defensively, but one that he's prepared for.

"Obviously he is a pretty big fellow; I just have to get up on him quickly and try and shut him down," Havili told Stuff.

"I guess I am just trying to make the tackle, firstly, and then trust the boys to have my back if there is an offload. I am not going try and do a miracle and take everything.

"I am just going to try and get in there, get in low and hopefully make a chop-tackle on him. I can't be scared or hesitant."

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder had high praise for Havili ahead of his start in Wellington.

"He's probably one of the most naturally gifted players I have seen for a long time," said Blackadder.

"He has got a great feel for the play, he's tough and he makes good decisions."

Meanwhile, Hurricanes scrum-half TJ Perenara won't be writing the Crusaders off despite their recent struggles.

"A lot of people have opinions, but as a Crusaders team they won't be listening to outside opinions," Perenara told The Dominion Post.

"They often come back deep in seasons and make it to the finals, or the semis at least. You never write off the Crusaders, we've probably learned that first hand in the past… against a Crusaders team you slip up, they get their tails up and they'll get away.

"We've had the bounce in the last couple of years…. some of them we won in the last minute. I think one of them we won with a pick when Alapati [Leiua] got an intercept, another he scored a crazy try in the last minute."