Crusaders coach Scott Robertson admits it has been a difficult time for his players and staff following allegations of offensive behaviour by his players while they were on tour in South Africa.
NZ Rugby and the Crusaders organisations announced on Tuesday that an independent investigation is underway after allegations emerged of two separate incidents in Pretoria and Cape Town earlier this month.
All Blacks first-five Richie Mo'unga is involved in one accusation that he allegedly spat at a woman while Crusaders winger George Bridge is accused of being part of group which made homophobic slurs and allegedly acted in an intimidating manner.
Robertson told media this morning that Mo’unga and Bridge are keeping it together with the support of their teammates and families.
"We have got two great young men in the group, it has been a tough few days for them and their family," said Robertson.
"We feel a lot of it is for no reason at all, the clearer it comes I think everyone will understand."
Robertson said he and the team regrouped on Tuesday and spoke about their responsibilities on and off the field.
"We’ve got a great name, great brand, we’re good people, we’ve done a lot of good things over the years.
"These circumstances that have come across us, it’s been a real challenge for us.
"But probably the best thing to reemphasise as a group [is] how tight we are and how much we care about each other, Robertson said.
"And care about our brothers and all of us at this time, making sure that we are all ok and checking with each other.
"And know how important it is to stay strong and just be really clear on what we are about.
Robertson said the challenge is unique for him as a coach and that what is important right now is to keep the team close and support each other.
"It’s a different challenge, it is an off the field [incident].
"Probably understanding the challenge of a coach is the power of the media and they can take a story where they want to and for us as a group how we stay true and understand who we are and what we are about.
"We are really good people, but these things has processes and [we have] to stay focused on what we are doing."
The Crusaders host the Blues this Saturday in Christchurch.