Gibson plays down 'Saders link

Date published: July 31 2014

Despite being a former Crusader, Daryl Gibson has played down his previous association with the men from Christchurch ahead of Saturday.

Despite being a former Crusaders player and assistant coach, Daryl Gibson has played down his previous association with the men from Christchurch.

Gibson won Super Rugby titles withe Crusaders between 1998 and 2002 and was an assistant coach to Todd Blackadder before joining the Waratahs as their back-line coach at the start of 2013.

It has been suggested that his strong ties to the Crusaders could make him the ideal source of information in helping the Waratahs in their quest to stop his former team from winning their eighth title.

''I had a little giggle at that, apart from knowing what Toddy has in his coffee, I know no more than any other coach who studies video tape,'' Gibson told Fairfax Media.

''In terms of insights, I couldn't really share a great deal.''

The former All Blacks centre believes the Crusaders strengths were no secret and pointed out their customary slow start – and inconsistent mid-season form – before building momentum to reach the tournament's knockout stages for the 13th year in a row.

''They're scrapped through and they're really start to hit some form now,” added Gibson.

“They've done that through adapting their tactics every game.''

Gibson feels it's not surprising that the seven-time champions have struck form during the tournament's latter stages, just when Richie McCaw, Kieran Read and Dan Carter are finally together in the team and reaching their best form.

He expects Carter to make a significant contribution in only his fifth game of the season.

''With Dan, he's obviously an outstanding player,” explained Gibson.

“He also gives them a left foot, right foot combination and in the last two or three games with him back in the side they're far more adventurous and far more attacking.''

The Crusaders' ability to play that attacking game is due to solid platform they get from their forwards and Gibson expects the Waratahs to be targeted up front, especially in the tight exchanges.

''You'll see a lot of pressure at the set piece,” he said.

“They don't play a lot of rugby in their territory so they'll try and play a territory game.''