The homeless Crusaders continued a relentless charge towards Super Rugby glory with a 29-10 semifinal triumph over Stormers on Saturday, with plenty of praise for the victorious tight five.
Crusaders captain Richie McCaw said he was "really proud" of what the team achieved.
"We wanted to come here and do well," he said of a side that now heads back across the Indian Ocean to go play the Reds in the Final in Brisbane next week.
McCaw reserved most of his praise for a tight five that totally dominated their opponents, reducing the Stormers' scrum to a schoolboy mess.
"The whole tight five set the attitude at scrum time and in defence," McCaw said.
"They did not allow the Stormers to get any go-forward ball, because of the hits they are putting in.
"It is just a pleasure playing behind when you have men doing that, you have to take your hat off to them."
One of those 'big hitters', loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett, also praised the "team effort" that saw them destroy the Stormers reputation as a solid set piece unit.
If anything, monikers of the Stormers' 'light five' will soon be returning after Saturday's demolition job by the Crusaders.
"We knew it was going to be a massive part of the game and a big challenge for us," Crockett said of the set pieces.
"I just can't praise the guys behind us enough ... guys like [locks] Sammy [Sam Whitelock] and Brad [Thorn], along with the back three [loose forwards].
"They were all doing a great job and Dave [Hewitt, forwards coach] has done a great job in training us as well."
Speaking of their trip to Brisbane and next week's Final, Crockett said: "We have given ourselves a chance now. We just have to recover well and get ready for one more big one."
McCaw also, as he has done so often this season, dismissed the extraordinary travel schedule as a burden.
"You get a choice, you either use it as an excuse - get a pat on the back and say 'that is fair enough'.
"We decided when the carnage happened at home [the earthquakes in Christchurch] to stand up for the people at home and to show what the Crusaders mean.
"We wanted to give ourselves a chance after 18 weeks to play in the Final and we have done that. We are really excited.
"We will get on the plane [Sunday] and get ready for what will be a really big match next week."
Asked about how they go about recovering after a long trop, McCaw said: "The first couple of days after travel you don't feel that good, but you have to remember that come Saturday you will be ready to go.
"We just have to back that and know that we can do it again next week."
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