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'He's taken the loose forwards in under his wing': Robertson blown away by Pablo Matera

By Sam Smith
(Source/Crusaders)

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Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has been more than happy with the way Argentinian loose forward Pablo Matera has integrated into his new Crusaders environment.

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The former Jaguares star has played plenty of Super Rugby against the Kiwi franchises but this year will do so from inside the defending New Zealand champions, having won the last two Super Rugby Aotearoa iterations.

Robertson says that he has been impressed with how professional Matera has been, as one of the first to arrival each day and train with a ‘great mindset’. The Crusaders coach joked that sometimes Matera goes too hard when the side is working through plays.

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“Pablo’s English is exceptional. He still has to get the levels of intensity right at training, we might be doing clarity and he might be doing full contact”, Robertson joked.

“He’s got a great mindset to training, awesome pro. His English is really good so he picked up things really quickly and his comprehension’s incredible.

“You know, he’s played in England, he’s been round in the international sport, but I’m just impressed how much of a professional he is.

“He’s first in. He’s taken the loose forwards in under his wing. There is learning both ways. He’s a good man.”

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Robertson is excited about this weekend’s clash against the Highlanders where he has named Matera at Number 8 in his first pre-season outing for his new club.

“It’s quite exciting. The good thing about these games is there is a chance for individuals to leave their mark and put pressure on us as a coaching group because they’ve had so long to prepare.

“There’s two clear first half and second half teams, we’ve also got five NDCs, National Development Contract players that have been exceptional. A lot of them are going to be good long term pros to push on to higher honours.”

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