Crusaders unfazed by tweaks to preseason schedule, thankful for three-half game

The Crusaders have taken the chaotic build-up to this weekend's game-of-three-halves with the Blues and Chiefs in their stride, coach Scott Robertson said.

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Coach Scott Robertson said the Crusaders had five different plans ready to go for this weekend. Source: 1 NEWS

The Crusaders were originally scheduled to play the Blues this Saturday at Eden Park as part of a "footy festival" run by the Auckland franchise but the entire event was scrapped after the City of Sails was moved to a Level 3 lockdown due to a Covid-19 outbreak.

That left the Crusaders without a fixture ahead of next Friday's season-opening Super Rugby Aotearoa match against the Highlanders but Robertson said they had other options at the ready.

"We nearly had an internal trial again," Robertson said.

"I think one thing we've been taught in the last year and a bit is that the opportunity to play is a good thing."

With that in mind, Robertson said his team is stoked to now be part of the next fixture arranged by the Chiefs which will see the two sides along with the Blues play each other tomorrow in Cambridge.

"To head up to the Tron for the night, what an experience, get in and out, it'll be good," he said.

Robertson said a game-of-three-halves is valuable for the teams involved, as it allows them to test more of their players while also adhering to the current restrictions in place for All Blacks.

"All Blacks are only allowed to play 40 minutes," Robertson said.

"The other guys get to play... guys are putting their hands up for the week after so their performances really count."

Robertson said if the Chiefs' offer hadn't come through, the team was still in a good state ahead of the season kicking off next week regardless.

"We had about five permutations going on - if it was going to be Level 1 [in Auckland] we were going to go back to Eden Park," Robertson said.

"But we ended up in a great place and the boys have really embraced it."

Tomorrow's game of three halves is off limits to fans with the Chiefs running the match at Level 2 restrictions for safety but will be broadcast from Midday on Sky Sport.