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Crusaders reveal NRL team that they 'themed' an entire season on

By AAP
Jack Goodhue of the Crusaders is seen on the bench after coming off the field (R) during the round 10 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Crusaders and the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park on April 24, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

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Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has revealed he’s based a Super Rugby campaign on the Melbourne Storm, using the NRL club as a “theme” for a season.

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The long-time cross-code relationship between the two powerhouse clubs continued in Melbourne at AAMI Park over the weekend, with the Crusaders part of Super Round which featured five Super Rugby Pacific games at the venue.

Robertson and his coaching staff spent time with Bellamy’s NRL team, viewing training and also sat in on their team meeting ahead of their Anzac Day clash with the Warriors.

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What the All Blacks squad could look like halfway through Super Rugby Pacific | Aotearoa Rugby Pod
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What the All Blacks squad could look like halfway through Super Rugby Pacific | Aotearoa Rugby Pod

Bellamy returned the favour before the Crusaders trounced the Rebels 42-17 at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Crusaders have a theme for each season, in 2017 drawing inspiration from Muhammed Ali’s underdog victory in the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’.

Robertson said he had previously used the Storm to inspire his troops.

“They’re just a real great club and one year we use them as our theme – Purple Reign – and a lot of their trademarks and standards or behaviours that they use are really well aligned,” he said.

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“We do a lot of work with them and it’s a great relationship.”

Like Bellamy, who toured overseas in the post-season to learn from other great sporting clubs, Robertson said it was important to keep growing.

“You get in your own four walls a lot and do what you’re used to so each year you’ve got to find a way to get better,” he said.

“When you go to other teams you might only get one or two little things that might tweak some of your philosophy stuff or, be a really big idea that you’re going to run with.”

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Robertson joked there were other ways the two clubs could benefit and that Bellamy was looking to swap Crusaders playmaker Richie Mo’unga for Cameron Munster.

“Craig is trying to sign Richie Mo’unga and exchange him for Cam Munster but I don’t know if we could handle Cam,” he laughed.

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