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Crotty milestone in Jaguares contest

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Lynn McConnell     14 Apr 2016     Getty Images

Crotty, who made his debut for the side in 2009, has made a strong return to the side after missing the start of the season due to injury. And pushed his claims for a place in the All Blacks squad with a hat-trick of tries against the Sharks in Durban.

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That tour had ensured the Crusaders would be in a confident frame of mind going into the game.

The side had set a goal of achieving three wins out of three on their tour, the first time the Crusaders had done that since 2008, and this week was a new challenge against a team, the Jaguares, they had never played before.

"They're a good side with a lot of international players and if they click they can be pretty dangerous so we're well aware the tour is done, it's a new focus this week and we've got to nail that," Crotty said.

While the Jaguares had been in a state of constant change in recent weeks, ultimately the Crusaders had to make sure they were able to achieve what they wanted out of the game.

"Whenever you play Argentina you know you are going up against athletes who have great feet, they're fast, they have great skill sets, they like to play and you know they are dangerous from anywhere. They don't like to kick too much so hopefully that makes for an exciting game.

"We're excited at the chance to play these guys and it should turn out to be a cracker on Friday night," he said.



Crotty said reaching 100 games had been a goal he set a year or two back and was delighted to achieve it.

"When you start out you never know if you are going to get 10 games or 100," he said.

Of the games along the way that he remembered his 50th game, in Cape Town against the Stormers, was one because they had achieve a hard-fought win.

"The Crusaders have always been a special team for me, I grew up watching some pretty special Crusaders sides and it was always a dream to play and represent the province, and my family and friends and to play for the Crusaders," he said.

Crotty said he didn't know what the future held but he was enjoying his rugby at the moment and he was in the process of sorting his future.

One of the lessons he had learned through the years was how to cope with the niggles and injuries that invariably occur.

He said initially they might have been an issue for him but he observed how other players coped and had put that into good use for himself.

Former All Black Leon MacDonald had still been playing when he first started and was a player he looked up to for his intelligent play on the field and his toughness on and off-the-field.

It was good to have Israel Dagg back at fullback, he was a constant communicator and he liked to get his hands on the ball. And he had brought some new energy to the group which was always welcome, he said.

Crusaders centurions:
Justin Marshall
Reuben Thorne
Caleb Ralph
Greg Somerville
Leon MacDonald
Richie McCaw
Chris Jack
Dan Carter
Andrew Ellis
Kieran Read
Wyatt Crockett