The Rugby Championship
Halves measures not enough - Richie McCaw
ESPN Staff
July 26, 2013

Richie McCaw has issued a warning to Ewen McKenzie and the Wallabies ahead of their Rugby Championship-opening Bledisloe Cup Tests in Sydney and Wellington, saying they need to engineer attacks outside their halves after the Crusaders showed in the Super Rugby qualifier against Queensland Reds that Will Genia and Quade Cooper can be nullified as a threat.

Genia, considered the best scrum-half in the world, and Cooper, recalled to the Wallabies squad under McKenzie having been frozen our under Robbie Deans, had little influence on the match at AMI Stadium in Christchurch after the Crusaders had closed them out of the action.

McCaw, the All Blacks captain expected to reclaim the New Zealand armband from Kieran Read in Sydney as he returns to rugby after his sabbatical, said the Crusaders had established a direct tactic to target the playmakers. Genia produced his least effective performance since returning from his knee injury, and the Reds' key Wallabies, including captain James Horwill, who was substituted on the hour mark, proved ineffective.

"I don't know what he'd be thinking but he's got more time to worry about that now," McCaw said of McKenzie on Fox Sports. "No matter how good your No.9 and No.10 are, if you can't get go-forward ball or ball they can play with, it's pretty hard for them to show their skills.

"That's where we dictated. We shut down any good ball they got and eliminated their effect."

Did the Crusaders provide a blueprint to shut down Ewen McKenzie's sides (video available only in Australia)
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand

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