Todd Blackadder seeks Christchurch fortress
July 15, 2013
Dan Carter has a key role to play against the Reds © Getty Images
The Crusaders are confident of victory against Queensland Reds in the Super Rugby qualifier at AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Saturday, coach Todd Blackadder saying "we have what it takes to come away with a win".
Blackadder noted the Crusaders are unbeaten in eight Super Rugby matches at home in Christchurch in 2013, having won six of seven matches at AMI Stadium in 2012, including the 15-11 defeat of the Reds in the home-and-away season and a 28-13 Super Rugby qualifier victory over the Bulls, and he said the home-ground advantage "makes all the difference" to his team.
"We are now at the business end of the competition and playing knockout rugby, [and ] having a home-ground advantage makes all the difference at this stage of the competition," Blackadder said on TVNZ. "I know the Crusader fans will be right behind the team on Saturday and will show the Reds what it is like to play at our fortress."
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie, equally, is "quietly confident" his team can defeat the Crusaders having won three of their four clashes against their coming hosts under him, including the 2011 Super Rugby final, saying "we've probably had as good a record as anyone against them in recent times".
Blackadder acknowledges the Reds represent tough opposition, but he said on TVNZ that the Crusaders were "extremely focused and have shown in recent games that if we do our homework and stick to our game plan we are a force to be reckoned with".
"It's going to be an intense, physical and passionate game of footy between two great sides and I know we have what it takes to come away with a win," he said. "This weekend's game is likely to be the final home game of this season, so Crusader fans brandish your swords and come out in support of the team this coming weekend. There is nothing like playing in front of a home crowd and I know the boys get a huge lift when they hear the roar of the home crowd."
The Crusaders rounded out their home-and-away season with victory against the Hurricanes (video available only in Australia)
Saturday, July 20
Sunday, July 21
Week 2 - July 26/27:
(2) Bulls v Highest-ranked winner from Week 1
Week 3 - August 3:
Super Rugby Table:
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