Crusaders hoping history doesn't repeat

RICHARD KNOWLER
Last updated 05:00 07/03/2013
Todd Blackadder
IAIN McGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
TODD BLACKADDER: "If you haven't got the attitude right, you are going to lose the physical battle every single time."

Your views on Super Rugby

Share your stories, photos and videos.

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

Glenn Moore looking forward to change of pace Karmichael Hunt confirms departure from AFL Glenn Moore to take charge of the Blues pack Counties' Baden Kerr ponders shift overseas Reds to confirm signing of James O'Connor Ex-Highlander Robinson hooks Crusaders deal Chiefs have just six vacancies left on roster Thorn, Bekhuis not back for Highlanders Damian McKenzie signs three-year Chiefs deal Police oppose Tevita Li application on charge

Todd Blackadder doesn't have a short memory.

So the Crusaders boss won't appreciate being reminded of what happened when his side last faced the Hurricanes on June 30 last year.

The Hurricanes inflicted a a 23-22 shock loss in Christchurch that night, forcing the Crusaders to concede any chance of topping the New Zealand conference.

The visitors were in fine voice that evening but have been more sombre over the last fortnight, having dropped their opening matches against the Blues and Reds.

The mood has not been so cheerful among the Crusaders this week, either, and yesterday Blackadder reinforced he will not accept his team being bullied around the Cake Tin as they were at AMI Stadium last year. Or at Eden Park last week.

Correcting the breakdown, where the Blues prevented the Crusaders spitting out quick ball, is one area where Blackadder will demand improvements.

"First of all, the intent in the head has got to be right and it starts with the attitude," Blackadder said.

"If you haven't got the attitude right, you are going to lose the physical battle every single time. When two forces collide it is when the better technique comes out."

Blackadder has moved to stop the rot following the 34-15 defeat to the Blues, switching Israel Dagg back to fullback and introducing new wings Johnny McNicholl and Tom Marshall.

Dominic Bird replaces Luke Romano, who is nursing sore ribs, in the second row.

Blackadder tips Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett to order his forwards to roll the Crusaders.

"If you are not meeting fire with fire you are going to come second. I know they will try and put a lot of energy into that contact area to try and slow our ball and obstruct us."

Questioning Dan Carter's form - the playmaker admitted he can be a slow starter - after his mild performance drew Blackadder's ire.

Asked whether Carter saves himself for the All Blacks, Blackadder replied that was "an insult" to the No 10.

"We didn't do things very well and he's the playmaker. I know he is expected to bring out a magic wand everytime he plays and he didn't.

"But I think it is more of a collective thing than just singling one guy out."

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Special offers
Opinion poll

What did you make of the 2014 Super Rugby season?

It was a cracker and the best team won the title.

The Crusaders were robbed in the final.

It was a bit of a snorefest and the Kiwi teams largely disappointed.

Super Rugby? Please, bring on the NPC.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content