Super Rugby

Crusaders wary of 'special' Barrett

Beauden Barrett (Getty Images)
Beauden Barrett (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Crusaders assistant coach Leon MacDonald admits his side must be wary of in-form flyhalf Beauden Barrett when they host the Hurricanes.

Barrett has been outstanding thus far in Super Rugby but his 'Canes side face a Crusaders team that have won 10 out of 10 on Saturday.

It's by far the game of Round 12 in Christchurch and looking ahead to the clash MacDonald believes keeping a lid on Barrett will be tough.

"It is his ability to do it ad-hoc, really, and the accuracy of the kicks," he told the website.

"And the fact he has got a short one, and a long one, it makes it difficult to cover. He is a special player and we all know that. It is just one of the challenges of playing the Hurricanes."

"The real strength, especially, of Beaudie's play is his ability to read the play on the go," MacDonald added. "It doesn't need to be pre-called. He will see space and attack it."

Under Scott Robertson the Crusaders have impressed and it is them who currently lead the way in Super Rugby after their fine run. However, MacDonald knows this is now a crucial segment of their campaign, with the Hurricanes the first of two difficult New Zealand derbies.

"They obviously score a lot of tries with their running game, their counter-attack... all those areas, we will be paying attention to," he said.

"I suppose the next two weeks, the local derbies against the Chiefs and the Hurricanes, is the real test. Once we get through the next two weeks we will know really where are at, and things will be a little bit more real."