Turning around a loss to the Blues while on the road for 23 days in Australia will be the goal for the Crusaders in Super Rugby Pacific, starting with their Sunday game against the Rebels in Super Round Melbourne, presented by Fiji Airways.


Ending a lengthy unbeaten run, while disappointing, meant they could ease the weight of extending the record off their shoulders, play without that burden, and get better as a group.


Coach Scott Robertson said they had been through the experience before when losing to the Hurricanes to end a 36-game winning streak at home, and the Blues loss was similar.


"We were only a couple of moments away from winning that game. All the heart and effort was there. It wasn't anything around that, which is the first indicator of a great team.


"We could have been better and we know how we are going to be better. We will remember," he said.


The Australia leg was something they were looking forward to because their opponents would be different, tactically and mentally.



The Crusaders wouldn't change much in the way they played. It was more to do with the mindset surrounding differences and their challenges.


It was possible to analyse footage from games, but it wasn't until getting onto the field that it was possible to get a genuine feel. It was a case of never under-estimating anyone and giving them respect.


While they have two New Zealand referees in their first two games, they would have Australians in their last two.


Different personalities were involved, and they all refereed in their own way.


"We haven't gone into them in depth because we haven't got them in the first couple of weeks, but we will definitely do that [ahead of] when we play them," he said.


Second five-eighths Jack Goodhue's return was timely because of the energy he gave the side. He is a player with a big heart and engine, Robertson said.


His had been the worst possible knee injury.


"It was a big one, you don't get many bigger in regards to a contact sport, so we're pleased for him with his efforts," he said.


Recovery was a lonely experience with a lot of time spent in the gymnasium working on recovery when the end result could seem a long way away.


Prop Joe Moody won't make the tour and is awaiting a scan on his knee. Robertson said all he could say was that he would miss the Australia tour, 'and potentially longer.'


Captain and lock Scott Barrett will also miss the tour due to his four-week suspension. Barrett had taken a step back and put a process in place to get better and help himself in his mental game, Robertson said.


"It's out of character, he's been great for a couple of years now but, at that moment, he could have been better, and he's got a few weeks to work on his game technically, and on the mental side of his game," he said.