Shields knows the defending champions – and record eight-time winners – will be tough to overcome and has called for focus from his side as they look to repeat their 2016 success.
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“The word I’ve heard is this is going to be our final this week, because we’ve got to play our best footy otherwise we’re not coming back next week,” said the flanker.
“Sometimes, in play-offs footy, you’ve got a couple of opportunities and if you can nail them, maybe that’s all it’s going to take.
“At the end of the day, if you don’t play well and don’t do you own things well, you’ve got no chance.”
The Canes beat the Crusaders 29-19 on March 10 but lost the return match 24-13 two weeks later.
At the end of the regular season, the Crusaders finished 12 points clear of their semi-final opponents, and coach Scott Robertson has named a strong side – including a pack made up entirely of All Blacks.
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