CHRISTCHURCH - Coach Todd Blackadder is counting on home ground advantage to boost the Crusaders to their first win of the season when they meet the Bulls in Christchurch tomorrow.
The South Africans have won their first three Super Rugby matches and will be buoyant after last week posting their first victory against the Blues at Auckland's Eden Park.
Christchurch has not treated the Bulls kindly, with their only win coming back in 1996 in the competition's first year when they won under the banner of Northern Transvaal.
"It's been 209 days since we've played at home and it's going to be great to be back," Blackadder said after Crusaders training on Thursday.
"It feels funny we're four weeks into the competition and it's our first home game.
"I know we've got a big game building this week and it is a great challenge as it always is when you play the Bulls."
Blackadder said ball security and better discipline were areas needing improvement after their 29-28 loss to the Hurricanes last Friday.
He said the Crusaders had practised taking down the high ball and were planning how to use it on the counter-attack. The Bulls haven't changed their game plan in the last five years. They play to their strengths so it is really easy for us to prepare against."
The Crusaders have named an unchanged starting team from the Hurricanes game with just one change on the bench where utility back Tom Taylor, who has a medial ligament injury, is replaced by Tyler Bleyendaal.
Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Tom Marshall, Robbie Fruean, Ryan Crotty, Johnny McNicholl, Dan Carter, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (capt), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Dominic Bird, Sam Whitelock, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett.
Res: Ben Funnell, Joe Moody, Tom Donnelly, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Tyler Bleyendaal, Adam Whitelock.