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Horwill - We can overcome Crusaders


James Horwill

James Horwill

James Horwill

Reds captain James Horwill insists his side can overcome their status as underdogs and see off the star-studded Crusaders in what should be a thrilling Super Rugby final at Suncorp Stadium.

The Reds finished top of the regular season table after losing just three of their 16 games, and followed that up with a dominant 30-13 success over the Blues in last weekend's semi-final. The Brisbane-based outfit also came out on top in the league-stage meeting with the Crusaders, claiming a 17-16 victory.

The bookies still have Dan Carter and company as favourites to lift the trophy on Saturday, but Horwill believes his side have proved enough people wrong this season to know that they can pull off another upset. He said: "We're confident that we can go out and do the job that we need to do, but I guess the public out there see it otherwise."

He added: "I think the players have been working hard this year to put out perceptions of the team that were different.

"We've been putting things to bed throughout the whole year and ticking boxes the whole way. But I guess we've still got an area to make up there.

"In the end, the bookies' prices don't make a difference to us whatsoever. We don't really pay attention to that. It's about going out there and putting our best performance of the year on the park to get the result.

"We're certainly not going out there with any sort of doubt, we're going out there to play rugby and that's the way that we've been successful this year, so that's what we're planning to do."

The Christchurch earthquake forced the Crusaders to play all their home games on the road, while their AMI Stadium will also not be able to play host to the World Cup fixtures it had been handed. Coach Todd Blackadder has warned his side not to get caught up in the emotion of the occasion.

He said: "There's a lot of emotion and these games aren't won purely on emotion.

"That (the earthquake) is a motivation but we've got to be clinical when it comes to executing the game plan and delivering a performance on the field."

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