Crusaders captain Kieran Read believes Graham Henry deserves plenty of credit for the Blues' superb start to the season.
The Auckland-based franchise are on a high after claiming a thrilling 34-20 win over the Hurricanes in Wellington last weekend.
And Read is convinced that New Zealand's World Cup winning coach, who is part of the Blues coaching staff as a technical advisor, played a major part in that victory.
The Crusaders kick off their campaign against the Blues on Saturday and Read is particularly wary of the Aucklanders' back-line which he believes has benefited greatly from Henry's influence.
"I think the way they backed themselves and gave licence to the players, that's probably how 'Ted' likes to use guys," Read told Fairfax Media.
The back-rower is amongst those players whose game thrived under Henry's coaching when he played under him for the All Blacks between 2008 and 2011.
"He's one to install a lot of confidence in players and has his way of doing that," added Read.
I guess within the structure they do play it allows them to showcase that talent they obviously do have - they are natural athletes.
"Hopefully we can make them go a bit as individuals and away from their game plan."