Dagg calls for Crusaders to get tough
May 1, 2013
Israel Dagg (centre) says some Crusaders players are not doing their jobs. © Getty Images
Fullback Israel Dagg has called for the Crusaders to forget the friendliness and toughen up mentally if they are to achieve their first goal of making the Super Rugby play-offs in an attempt to win an eighth championship.
Dagg said it was frustrating that the Crusaders had let the Melbourne Rebels back into the game in Christchurch last Sunday and admitted the home team was fortunate to win, 30-26, after surrendering the lead in the second half and having to rely on Tom Taylor's superb goal-kicking to reclaim it.
"The boys weren't there mentally," Dagg said. "We started well but then we just took the foot off the pedal and let the Rebels run around us and get through us pretty easily."
Dagg, in his 34th match for the Crusaders, said he was to blame as much as anyone.
"Everyone was missing tackles - I missed five or something like that - and I think a lot of it was mental. I think we're being a bit too nice to each other. When things are getting tough we're letting it slide instead of demanding a lot better from each other. Some guys are doing their jobs and there are others who aren't. We were lucky to get the win and still be in the competition."
Dagg said he couldn't pinpoint why he and his team-mates were performing inconsistently.
"You do some things okay then you let other things come into your game that you never do. It's frustrating and it's affecting our team and our game. I guess a few boys will be looking in the mirror at themselves and saying: 'who am I and what do I want to achieve for this team'."
Dagg said that after watching the Brumbies annihilate the Force last weekend, he realised the enormity of the task facing the Crusaders in their round 12 clash in Canberra on Sunday.
"They're a classy outfit. They've got George Smith who retired not so long ago from Super Rugby who's back and is just schooling everyone and a great player like Jesse Mogg [opposing fullback] who is playing awesome as well. But I know all the boys are excited about facing a team like them. We've just got to stay positive but we know it's going to be tough over there with the players they've got and their crowd support."
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales were just 13 minutes from a famous victory, but the lessons to be learned in defeat are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic