Crusaders prop Joe Moody is backing his forward pack ahead of his side's clash with the Hurricanes on Saturday in Christchurch, having told media today his team has an edge over the Canes in the forwards department.
Moody played 73 minutes for the Crusaders against the Blues on Saturday, after his teammate prop Tim Perry suffered a broken arm in their team's 24-22 win at Eden Park.
"Without sounding too cocky, we do rate our forward pack, I guess," he said. "It is one of our strengths I feel and we like to put on a bit of a show on Saturday night.
"Yeah, Tim [Perry] and I were actually roomies on Saturday, so we had a couple of words and that is just a bugger of a situation for him.
"It's not the way he wanted his season to go, but there's not too much you can do about it now other than chip away and try get yourself back to where you want to be."
The All Blacks prop admits Saturday's match against the Hurricanes will be another barn burner.
"To be honest, I think all the boys are pretty passionate about playing the Hurricanes - they have got a few on top of us in recent years," Moody said.
The last time the Crusaders faced the Hurricanes, the Crusaders won 30-12 in last year's semi-final at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
"We just really enjoy playing them," he said. "We know we are in for a good battle and yeah, we will just look forward to it."
The Crusaders have nine All Blacks players starting in their match day 15 - compared to the Canes' five - for their Saturday clash at Rugby League Park in Christchurch.
Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Matt Todd (c), 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Makailo, 1 Joe Moody.
Reserves: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Harry Allan, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Braydon Ennor.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Vince Aso, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Gareth Evans 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Liam Mitchell, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (c), 1 Chris Eves.
Reserves: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Ben May, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Sam Henwood, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Ngani Laumape.