McCaw ready to make amends

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw wants to make amends for last year’s early Rugby World Cup and Super 14 exits and he feels the best place to start is in Saturday night’s trial against Western Force in Melbourne.

McCaw will lead the Canterbury Crusaders squad at Olympic Park in Melbourne and has told the press that his fellow New Zealand internationals who will be playing in the Super 14 club were intent on exorcising their World Cup demons.

The Crusaders dominated the Super 12 and won the first Super 14 (2006) but were knocked out in the Semi finals in 2007. Many of their players went on to play for the All Blacks and then they were knocked out of the World Cup in the quarter-finals.

McCaw and his team-mates want to put 2007 behind them and according to McCaw they are planning a big Super 14 charge.

“It hurt for a little while but you can’t dwell on it,” the flanker told the Herald Sun.

“The boys that were there and are in this group can’t wait to get back out on the field.

“We had to tell ourselves that it’s not the be-all and end-all. There is another competition to focus on now.”

Last year’s Super 14 tournament was interrupted for selected All Black’s who were pulled out of action for seven weeks due to the ill-fated All Blacks reconditioning programme and McCaw said that this year will be different as everyone will be on the same footing.

“It was fairly tough coming back halfway through the season,” he said.

“We’re all at the same level now. It helps not having to play catch-up the week before your first game. We let ourselves down (last year).

“That trip to Africa (for the semi-final against the Northern Bulls) was bloody tough but we didn’t deserve to go further.”

McCaw won’t have long to wait to do his talking on the field as the Super 14 kicks off on February 15.


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