Super Rugby Pacific: Crusaders skipper Scott Barrett excited for massive second-row battle

Dylan Coetzee

Crusaders captain Scott Barrett expects a massive battle when his side faces the Chiefs in the Super Rugby Pacific semi-final.

Two sets of All Black second-rows are set to match up against each other in what will be a clash of the titans.

Verbal warfare

Barrett expects the competitive nature of play-off rugby to fire up the players and result in some verbal sledging on the field. However, the All Black is also excited at the prospect of facing Tupou Vaa’i and Brodie Retallick.

“There might be a moment, I think. If there’s a mistake, possibly, there might be two cents thrown in there,” Barrett told Stuff. “We will have to wait and see.

“We are both competitive teams. Often in the heat of the moment a few words might be added. Hopefully with a smile, and (then) get on with the job.”

“It’s two (pairs of) All Blacks against each other, so it’s a huge battle. Yeah, I’m excited for that. I am sure Brodie and Tupou are too.”

The only change made to the Crusaders line-up to face the Chiefs comes after Ethan Blackadder suffered a shoulder injury in last weekend’s Super Rugby Pacific quarter-final.

“It’s the same shoulder he has done before, so once he has got his head down and started working he got past the operation part … he will be right,” head coach Scott Robertson said.

Barrett has enjoyed a trophy-laden time at the Crusaders and knows what it takes to succeed in knockout rugby.

“Nerves and anxiousness come from a lack of preparation. In finals footy, your preparation is that much deeper,” he added.

“So come kick-off, you are not thinking, you fully trust in the work you have put in during the week. That comes with a bit of experience, over the last couple of years too, with a few ups and downs along the way that has helped shaped that.”

READ MORE: Super Rugby Pacific: Chiefs veteran Sam Cane returns from injury for the semi-finals