The return of Richie McCaw may the most talked about topic, but Dan Carter could be the Crusaders' ace when they take on the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.
McCaw ready to lead the Crusade | Brett also heading abroad | Elsewhere...
Crusaders backline coach Daryl Gibson admitted that Carter could be a bit 'more productive' on attack, but said he has no problem with the general form of the man generally regarded as the world's leading No.10.
Carter has, surprisingly, been the topic for some debate in New Zealand because he has been deemed to be "too quiet" in games and not stamping his authority on games.
However, Gibson felt that's a perception created because of his greatness.
"He is one of these players, because he does everything so well, you sometimes don't notice just how good he is," Gibson said at the team's base in Cape Town during the build-up to Saturday's semifinal showdown at a sold-out Newlands.
"You look at a number of other first fives playing with a lot more flair, but they also make a lot more mistakes."
Gibson added that they have no problem with the way in which Carter was playing "within the Crusaders' structures".
"He [Carter] is certainly very solid and do the basic so well," the assistant coach said, adding: "For us it is important to stick to the game plan and we certainly don't have any issues [with Carter]."
However, there is one area where they feel Carter have a bigger influence on Saturday.
"Yes, attack is one area where we would like to see more of him, because it is such a strong part of his game,"Gibson said, when asked if he felt Carter could take on the advantage line a little more himself.
"You do have other guys, like Robbie Fruean and Sonny Bill [Williams], who take on the [advantage] line, but it is an area of strength and something we would like to see more."
Gibson also dismissed the notion that the Crusaders will have any after effects from their delayed arrival at their base in Cape Town, due to the ash cloud from the Chilean volcano that saw the side's flight from Perth to Johannesburg move north to a higher latitude involving more time.
The Crusaders will also take an enormous amount of self belief into Saturday's game, considering they beat the Stormers at Newland earlier in the season.
"We won here with a much weaker team," Gibson said, adding: "Our biggest challenge is getting used to being in a different time zone in a very short time. Getting into regular sleep patterns is the biggest challenge we face."
By Jan de Koning
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