Read: Crusaders still in contention for play offs

Crusaders captain Kieran Read says that he believes they can still make the play offs if they build on the momentum they’ve achieved from their overseas tour of South Africa.

The Crusaders became the first team to cross the Indian Ocean and win two matches when they beat the Lions and then the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Read’s Crusaders followed up their 7-28 victory over the Lions in Johannesburg with a 31-52 victory over the Cheetahs which has earned them nine points in the standings from their tour.

The result moves the Crusaders up five places on Super Rugby’s overall standings to seventh and the bonus point victory proves the New Zealanders’ title credential as they look to challenge for a spot in the knockout stages of the competition.

“We are still very much in it (contention). I think every team is still in with a shout for a place in the play-offs,” Read said after the Cheetahs match.

“It’s a very tough competition and we have to build on our momentum. Another big test awaits us next weekend against the Chiefs. We have to travel well and recover and take it from there.”

The Crusaders now return to New Zealand where they will face the Chiefs in Hamilton in what is sure to be a battle against the leaders in the New Zealand conference.

Another good performance by Read and his team would give the Crusaders vital momentum in their race towards the knockout stages.

“The Cheetahs are a great side and showed how good they were, especially in that ten minutes in the second half. That put us under a lot of pressure, but I’m proud of the way we just stuck at it and came back strong,” Read added.

“Both teams were tiring near the end and it came down to moments of brilliance by a few guys. That’s what happens. It’s part of the work.

“Certainly we are happy to be on the right side of the result this time around. It was certainly a job well done from our side. “

“We certainly saw what we are capable of if we attack. Now we just have to build on that.”

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