Crusaders coach rues poor discipline
March 9, 2013
Todd Blackadder says poor discipline in the first half is what ultimately cost his side victory © Getty Images
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said his side only had themselves to blame for Friday night's 29-28 Super Rugby loss to the Hurricanes.
The Crusaders were leading 28-22 with nine minutes to play when replacement Adam Whitelock's pass was intercepted by Alapati Leiua and Beauden Barrett kicked the match-winning conversion.
In truth Blackadder's side should have had the match wrapped up well before that as they profited from Hurricanes mistakes to score four tries and claim a bonus point before Leiua's heroics.
Poor discipline in the first half was costly as Barrett took all the points on offer from four penalties to give his side a 12-7 lead at half-time.
Then a botched Crusaders line-out midway through the second half eventually resulted in All Black winger Julian Savea going over in the corner for the Hurricanes' first try.
A converted try to Dan Carter restored a nine point lead for the visitors before Barrett kicked his fifth successful penalty to close the gap to six points.
Whitelock's pass handed the game to the Hurricanes and Carter sent a drop goal wide that would have snatched victory.
"It's just really disappointing to lose a game like that when we were (four) tries to two," Blackadder said. "I suppose we've only got ourselves to blame. Ill-discipline, those penalties in the first half, and two errors gifted two tries and to end up losing a game like is disappointing."
But after a try-less, lacklustre loss to the Blues last weekend, Blackadder at least felt the overall performance from his team had been better.
"We're a lot closer that what we were last week," Blackadder said. "It was a better performance. It's just disappointing to have gifted so many points away. I feel like we're on the right track. We just never got the result we were looking for but we got two points away from home."
Captain Kieran Read, whose knock-on saw a try to Matt Todd in the 68th minute disallowed by TMO Glen Newman, put the high penalty count down to "pushing the boundaries too much".
"I think the accuracy has to come along with the enthusiasm," Read said. "We're probably not getting that balance right at the moment. It's certainly something we've got to work on because you can't afford to give teams 15 or so points from the boot."
While Blackadder agreed with Newman's decision, Read himself wasn't so sure.
"I haven't seen the replay but it didn't feel like a knock on," Read said. "I guess if you slow it down enough you'll find something won't you."
Despite losing their opening two games of the tournament for the first time since 2004 Read isn't pushing the panic button just yet.
"It's a long season. We want to be building," Read said. "You're going to lose games throughout the season. We've just got to be confident in ourselves and get back to showing discipline and showing the attack we did tonight which was pleasing."
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