Coping with the fast-finishing Hurricanes will be a test for the Crusaders in Wellington in their Super Rugby Pacific game on Saturday.
While both teams have advanced from their first-round game, the memory of the three tries in the last 10 minutes scored by the Hurricanes, and Sunday's two-try burst to get within a point of the Chiefs, will ensure the need not to switch off.
The Hurricanes made demands on opponents in the final quarter, when they have scored many points to force their way back into games.
Halfback Mitch Drummond said: "We found that out in round one. In the last 20 minutes, they came right back at us, and I think they scored three tries in the last 10 minutes.
"It has been an improvement in our game, the way we have finished. But, we know that is a strength of the Hurricanes.
"So, the way games are so close at the moment, you have got to be on for the 80 minutes because even in the last 10 minutes teams can come back and get you which is what we've been seeing across the competition," he said.
He was expecting another high-powered contest from them.
"Every team coming off a loss is dangerous and also this weekend. They're a tough team to play at the best of times. We know that they'll be hurting after Sunday, so it'll be a doozy I think," he said.
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The Hurricanes had athletes across the field. They were dangerous with the ball in hand and also at the breakdown.
Drummond said the usual fullback Jordie Barrett was a threat wherever he played, at fullback or second five-eighths.
"They're a threat like every other New Zealand team, and if you feed the beast they will take full advantage of it," he said.
The Crusaders were pleased to get their win over the Highlanders on Saturday but were not so happy with the way they performed.
"To get a result and win ugly was a big positive. We just need to tidy up a few things around our game. We've worked on micro stuff this week, but big picture stuff, we're stoked with the result, but we know we need to tidy a few things up for this weekend," he said.
Challenges were a constant around the side during the Covid pandemic, but the side felt good. That would be important, especially as the loss of their bye meant no breaks for the remainder of the campaign.
Drummond said if the Crusaders can maintain their position through their next two games against the Hurricanes and Blues, they would be in a great position heading into four games on the road in Australia.
"I think our whole group is excited to get on the road," he said.
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