Blackadder delighted with Crusaders' display
July 20, 2013
Richie McCaw contested the final 20 minutes of the Crusaders' victory © Getty Images
Returning All Blacks captain Richie McCaw was delighted to be part of a rampant Crusaders team as they set up a semi-finals berth with a 38-9 win over Queensland Reds in Christchurch on Saturday night, but warned they would need to retain their hunger in the games ahead.
McCaw said the key thing in sport was to back up a good performance with another and that would be the task for the side.
McCaw expected his match fitness to improve after his 20-minute stint and admitted to feeling the effects of playing little recent rugby towards the end of the match, but was thankful for the chance to play.
"I'm just lucky that Todd and Co, and [my] not having been part of the team for most of the year have given me that opportunity, so I'm grateful for that and the boys have let me slip in fairly easily," he said.
The Crusaders dominated at the contact area, especially when not having the ball. They denied the Reds opportunities while making the advantage line themselves and the Reds were forced to resort to other measures, which gave the Crusaders more chances.
McCaw said his time out of the game had given him renewed passion for the sport.
"You don't get to play this game forever and you want to make the most of the time you get out there and that becomes pretty evident when you sit and watch for a while," he said.
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Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder praised his players for preparing well and paying the Reds the respect they deserved as a top side.
"I think it was really set up by the attitude at the start of the week," Blackadder said. "We've had a fits and starts sort of season, we've had our highs and lows and times when we haven't fired, but the commitment is there and everyone has got their head in the right place. I think this is a really determined group and they really want to do well.
"What we saw out there tonight is that everyone is aligned and on the same page about what they wanted to achieve tonight and that was great," he said. "I thought our forward pack really got on the front foot and really laid a really good platform, I thought we controlled the collisions and I thought our strikes managed to cut right through from the back attack. I thought that was excellent."
The Crusaders defeated the Reds in some style (video available only in Australia)