Blackadder laments last-minute 50-50 call

20:10, Aug 02 2014
Richie McCaw and Sam Whitelock
The weight of defeat hits Crusaders Richie McCaw (left) and Sam Whitelock as the Waratahs get presented with the Super Rugby trophy.
Waratahs celebrate
Waratahs players Wycliff Palu, Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale celebrate at the final whistle.
Waratahs celebrate
Rob Horne (left) and Israel Folau take the Super Rugby trophy on a lap of honour around ANZ Stadium.
Waratahs celebrate
Celebrating their first Super Rugby title, the NSW Waratahs squad.
Waratahs celebrate
Waratahs players celebrate a try by centre Adam Ashley-Cooper (top).
Nemani Nadolo
Crusaders wing Nemani Nadolo sprints away to score.
Nemani Nadolo
Crusaders wing Nemani Nadolo attempts to bump off Waratah Stephen Hoiles.
Sam Whitelock
A dejected Sam Whitelock leaves the field.
Sam Whitelock
Crusaders lock Sam Whitelock (right) mixes it up with Will Skelton after a high tackle on Alofa Alofa.
Adam Ashley-Cooper
Adam Ashley-Cooper dives over for one of his two tries in the final.
Adam Ashley-Cooper
Waratahs centre Adam Ashley-Cooper is tackled by Ryan Crotty.
Kieran Read
Crusaders captain Kieran Read goes high for a lineout take early in the final.
Ryan Crotty
Blood pours from a head cut for Crusaders centre Ryan Crotty.
Disconsolate Crusaders players wait for the trophy presentations to start.
Bernard Foley
Bernard Foley lines up his match-winning last-minute penalty attempt.

Todd Blackadder's pre-match prediction that the Super Rugby final would be determined by a few crucial moments came back to haunt him as a "50-50" call condemned the one-time competition kings to another bridesmaid experience.

Bernard Foley's last minute penalty secured the Waratahs their maiden title on Saturday in Sydney with a 33-32 win over the Crusaders who will now have to wait another year for a tilt at a record eighth title.

Blackadder said he would have liked another look at referee Craig Joubert's fateful decision.

"It was 50-50 I thought, it could have gone either way," Blackadder said.

"It comes down to those moments doesn't it? There was nothing between the sides.

"I was really proud of the way our guys fought back.

"NSW have been the best team all season and they showed that tonight at the end didn't they, so that's a credit to them.

"They should be proud of their season."

While the Crusaders seven titles are still four more than the next best team, the New Zealanders have stumbled in recent times.

They have made the semi-finals every year under Blackadder since their last title in 2008, but four semi-final defeats and final losses away to the Reds and Waratahs have left them unfulfilled.

Captain Kieran Read was proud the fightback after they trailed 14-0, but couldn't hide his hurt and disappointment.

"We're absolutely gutted," Read said.

Blackadder won three titles as a player, but has yet to taste victory as a coach.

"Coming second is not much fun, I can tell you that," Blackadder said.

Playmaker Dan Carter suffered a badly corked thigh.

"He tried to run it off, but he couldn't quite get there, which is disappointing, at least he had a crack, so he's pretty sore," the coach said.

"It wasn't great losing him so early, but that's just life.

"I thought the guys that went out there did a pretty good job and Sladey (five-eighth Colin Slade) stepped up and kicked the goals that he needed to and Tom Taylor ran bloody well.

"But you don't like to lose those influential players."


Richie McCaw and Sam Whitelock
ANOTHER FINAL DEFEAT: The weight of defeat hits Crusaders Richie McCaw (left) and Sam Whitelock as the Waratahs get presented with the Super Rugby trophy.