Todd Blackadder rates Reds' playbook
July 19, 2013
Quade Cooper plays best outside Will Genia, Todd Blackadder says © Getty Images
The Reds haven't won in Christchurch since 1999 but Blackadder isn't underestimating a side that welcomes Will Genia and captain James Horwill back from injury, saying Genia always brings the best out of five-eighth Quade Cooper. "They're very smart," Blackadder said of the Reds. "They have a really good kicking game and, on attack, they're really flat so if you let their playmakers get over the gain line, you're in for a helluva day. We'll be at home, which gives us the best opportunity to be ready for them. For us, this is a final, these are one-off games, and we are not looking ahead."
The teams haven't met this year but the Reds hold the upper hand in their clashes in recent seasons. The Crusaders won 11 games in succession from 1999 to 2009 but Queensland bounced back to win the next three, including the 2011 Super Rugby final in Brisbane. The Crusaders stopped the rot last year with a grim 15-11 win in Christchurch, where the Reds scored the only try through hooker James Hanson in the first minute but paid for ill-discipline as Tom Taylor slotted five penalties for the hosts.
"That was just a slugfest," Blackadder said of the latest fixture between the teams. "It was a set-piece battle. These games, you are not there for bonus points - you're just there to win them."
Follow live text commentary of the Super Rugby qualifier between the Crusaders and the Reds on Saturday, July 20, from 7pm (NZT), 5pm (EST), 7am (GMT)
Greg Growden and Russell Barwick preview the Super Rugby finals
"The fairytale continued right to the end for the magic man." Tom Hamilton reports on the game that saw Brian O'Driscoll bid adieu with the Six Nations title
"It is a sign of how far this England team have come that they looked disappointed at the full-time whistle having just put 52 points on Italy." Tom Hamilton writes
We pick out the a selection of the best photographs from a memorable championship in the Six Nations in pictures
We bring together a selection of the best pictures from the final round of the Six Nations and one which ended in Irish victory