The Crusaders' 57-14 thrashing of the Cheetahs in Christchurch at the weekend could not have come at a better time.
With the seven-time champions facing the Bulls in Pretoria this weekend, coach Todd Blackadder is delighted with his side's performance against the Cheetahs, especially their second half effort when they fought back from a 14-10 half-time defict to scored 47 unanswered points to clinch a 57-14 victory.
And facing a Bulls pack – who are renowned for their physicality – in their own backyard will be one of the toughest challenges Blackadder's forwards will face this season.
Despite an indifferent first half effort against the Cheetahs, Blackadder said he sensed that his players were gaining the ascendancy.
"We didn't panic, the players at halftime were really calm," Blackadder told Fairfax Media.
"They knew what they had to do and went out there and executed it."
Blackadder was particularly impressed with the way his forwards dominated the Bloemfontein-based outfit during the last 30 minutes in Christchurch and wants them to do that for the full 80 minutes against the Bulls.
"When we actually engaged and tried to go through them a little bit more, it created that space out wide," he added.
"We are going to have to do that right off the bat against the Bulls because if we sit back, they are going to come at us."