Crusaders captain Richie McCaw will have no shortage of motivation when he leads his team out at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday as the Crusaders attempt to secure their eighth Super Rugby title.
The hardships experienced by the people of Brisbane and Christchurch this year have been well documented, and both the Reds and the Crusaders will be keen to cap impressive campaigns by lifting some silverware this weekend, but there will be even more to this massive clash than just that.
The Crusaders were denied victory in Brisbane earlier this season after McCaw was controversially penalised by referee Stuart Dickinson for a ruck infringement in the last minute which gave Quade Cooper the opportunity to secure a breathtaking 17-16 win for his team.
So the visitors will be out to set the record straight and prove that they have what it takes to win at Suncorp Stadium, and the All Black skipper hopes to lead the way by getting the edge at the breakdown for his team.
He told NZPA: "I know the guys are pretty motivated, perhaps there's a wee bit of an edge there because we were tipped up here a few weeks ago."
McCaw's battle with impressive Reds openside flank Beau Robinson this weekend will be one of the key match-ups, and the abrasive Queensland loose forward seems to be in a confident mood after his break-out season.
"I've done pretty well this year, I think. I don't feel as though I've come up against a seven where I've been dominated. I'm not saying I've won every battle, but I don't think I've been dominated," the 24-year-old said.
McCaw acknowledged the threat that Robinson poses at the breakdown, and is looking forward to a fierce contest this weekend.
He said: "I had a good battle with him the last time we played. He's played pretty well for the Reds. He seems to have quite a bit of influence at the breakdown, which is obviously what you want from a number seven."
The Crusaders captain's fitness has been a concern for most of New Zealand all season, and he added that he felt pretty good after making his most recent return in his side's stunning 29-10 semifinal victory over the Stormers at Newlands last weekend.
"It was okay. I was happy enough having not done a whole lot of running. My fitness wasn't too bad but there's always room for improvement," he added.
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