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Super Rugby Qualifier - Crusaders v Reds
Todd Blackadder seeks Christchurch fortress
ESPN Staff
July 15, 2013
The Crusaders' Dan Carter runs the ball at the Waratahs, Crusaders v New South Wales Waratahs, Super Rugby, AMI Stadium, Christchurch, May 31, 2013
Dan Carter has a key role to play against the Reds © Getty Images
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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)

Play-off schedule

Week 1:

Saturday, July 20
(4) Crusaders v (5) Reds
AMI Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand
Kick-off (1935 local, 1735 NSW/ACT, 0935 SAT, 0735 GMT)

Sunday, July 21
(3) Brumbies v (6) Cheetahs
Canberra Stadium, Canberra, Australia
Kick-off (1610 local, 1810 NZT, 0810 SAT, 0610 GMT)

Week 2 - July 26/27:

(2) Bulls v Highest-ranked winner from Week 1
(1) Chiefs v Other winner from Week 1

Week 3 - August 3:
Winner of semi-final with highest ranking v other winning semi-finalist

Super Rugby Table:

Position Team Conference Points
1. Chiefs New Zealand Conference 66
2. Bulls South African Conference 63
3. Brumbies Australian Conference 60
4. Crusaders Wildcard 60
5. Reds Wildcard 58
6. Cheetahs Wildcard 54

Super Rugby Conferences Tables:

Australian
Pos Team P W D L Bye F A PD TF TA TBP LBP Pts
1 Brumbies 16 10 2 4 2 430 295 +135 43 31 5 3 60
2 Reds 16 10 2 4 2 321 296 +25 31 23 4 2 58
3 Waratahs 16 8 0 8 2 411 371 +40 45 34 1 4 45
4 Melbourne Rebels 16 5 0 11 2 382 515 -133 44 65 4 5 37
5 Force 16 4 1 11 2 267 366 -99 26 34 0 5 31


New Zealand
Pos Team P W D L Bye F A PD TF TA TBP LBP Pts
1 Chiefs 16 12 0 4 2 458 364 +94 50 38 8 2 66
2 Crusaders 16 11 0 5 2 446 307 +139 44 31 5 3 60
3 Blues 16 6 0 10 2 347 364 -17 40 36 6 6 44
4 Hurricanes 16 6 0 10 2 386 457 -71 41 49 4 5 41
5 Highlanders 16 3 0 13 2 374 496 -122 40 55 4 5 29


South African
Pos Team P W D L Bye F A PD TF TA TBP LBP Pts
1 Bulls 16 12 0 4 2 448 330 +118 41 34 5 2 63
2 Cheetahs 16 10 0 6 2 382 358 +24 38 32 2 4 54
3 Stormers 16 9 0 7 2 346 292 +54 30 18 1 5 50
4 Sharks 16 8 0 8 2 384 305 +79 40 31 3 5 48
5 Southern Kings 16 3 1 12 2 298 564 -266 27 69 2 0 24

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