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Taylor's return bolsters Crusaders' scrum

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Lynn McConnell     25 Apr 2019     Getty Images

Taylor said the fact the Lions had been on tour for a couple of weeks would ensure they were primed for the game, and the Crusaders knew they were ready for a battle up front.

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"Set piece is something they pride themselves on, as do we and that battle up front is going to be crucial on who gets on top in this game," he said.

The Lions had put a lot of pressure on a good Chiefs scrum last weekend and that was something the Crusaders had looked at earlier in the week to make sure they had their work right.

"It's one area we like to apply pressure as well so we're aware we need to front up because it's going to be tough," he said.

"South African teams scrum a lot differently to New Zealand teams and we need to focus on technique and stuff and they're just strong men who can put you at all sorts of angles and if you don't get it right you'll be going backwards pretty quick.

"This is the first of four South African teams coming up so we've really tried to work on that this week to get it right," he said.
Taylor said the calf strain he had suffered in the Hurricanes game did not come right in the following week and he had to pull out of the next game and it was just one of those things in rugby where you had to roll with the punches and he had to sit out a couple of weeks.

However, the bye had worked to his advantage as it gave him more time to get it right and he was hopeful of being able to 'get stuck in' this week.

Wing Ngane Punivai will make his debut for the side as a substitute and he was looking forward to the chance.

"It's been a dream of mine for a while now and I'm just really excited to get out there with the boys and put the jersey on," he said.

With such strength in the Crusaders' three-quarter line he had not been concerned that chances weren't coming his way.

"To be honest, this is such an awesome environment it keeps pushing me to be better every day and like I said I've just been trying to learn as much as I can off them and now I can go out this weekend and show them what I have learned from them," he said.

Selection for the 23 had come as a shock for him, he said, but he had received plenty of congratulations and that had given him 'a warm, fuzzy feeling'.