The Crusaders have lost two more All Blacks for a blockbuster clash against the Hurricanes, with captain Sam Whitelock and midfielder Ryan Crotty ruled out after failing to pass concussion tests. The pair were originally forced from the field for HIA’s in the early stages of the first clash between the two sides back in round four.
The pair join suspended internationals, Joe Moody and Owen Franks, on the sidelines along with Tim Perry who injured his hamstring at the latest All Blacks camp.
“You have just got to trust them [the All Blacks], like they trust us,” Robertson responded to the news of Perry’s injury.
“Obviously the All Blacks are the priority in New Zealand rugby, and the players play to be test All Blacks. If he did it for us, or at the All Blacks camp, it is no different.”
“He caught the ball, went down to place it at a ruck – this is what Steve [All Blacks coach Steve Hansen] told me, and come up holding a hamstring. It is very tough for him.”
The depleted Crusaders will receive a boost with the return of Luke Romano, who has recovered from an ankle sprain.
“When he first did his ankle, I thought he had broken it and could be out for the year,” Robertson said. “And all of a sudden he is back four or five weeks later. It is remarkable, his recovery.
“His experience, that is what we need off the bench. It’s good to get a little bit of good news.”
Crusaders: David Havili, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Tim Bateman, George Bridge, Richie Mo’unga, Bryn Hall, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd (captain), Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Quinten Strange, Scott Barrett, Mike Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Andrew Makalio, Chris King, Donald Brighouse, Luke Romano, Pete Samu, Mitchell Drummond, Mitchell Hunt, Braydon Ennor.
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