Todd Blackadder focused only on present
July 11, 2013
Former All Blacks lock replaces Luke Romano © Getty Images
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder is focused only on the final round-robin Super Rugby game against the Hurricanes at AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Friday.
The Crusaders are already assured of place in the top six and home advantage if they win on Friday, but Blackadder said the Crusaders had fallen into the trap of looking too far ahead before. "We're taking it one game at a time," Blackadder said. "The first thing is to do our very best and to beat a very good Hurricanes team who have nothing to lose, which will make them even more of a threat. When we get past this week, we will worry about next week."
Blackadder, meanwhile, spoke enthusiastically about the Crusaders' dominating 43-15 win over the Chiefs last Friday, saying there was more to come. "Last week's performance was outstanding and we really want to build on that. There are a lot of growths within our game so that's been the focus this week. Our challenge is to back up what we did last week."
Blackadder is still irked by the intercepted late looped midfield pass that led to the Hurricanes winning their first battle this season in Wellington, 29-28. 'When you're up and have four tries and the bonus point in the bag, you don't throw a double miss pass," he said. "They're such a dangerous side. If you give them any loose ball or you're not defensively sound, they can really cut you in half. They're a team that has probably under-performed to a certain degree, but they're still a threat."
Blackadder made just one change to the Crusaders team that overwhelmed the Chiefs in Christchurch last Friday, Tom Donnelly replacing All Blacks lock Luke Romano, who has an ankle injury.
The Hurricanes have won the past two contests against the Crusaders, and they are the only side to beat the Christchurch-based team in 15 games since the seven-time Super Rugby champions moved to their new Addington-based stadium in 2012.
Crusaders: Israel Dagg; Tom Marshall, Ryan Crotty, Tom Taylor, Zac Guildford; Dan Carter, Andy Ellis; Kieran Read, Matt Todd, George Whitelock; Sam Whitelock, Tom Donnelly; Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Replacements: Ben Funnell, Joe Moody, Jimmy Tupou, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Tyler Bleyendaal, Telusa Veainu.