Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has praised Kieran Read for his performance in their 23-3 Super Rugby victory over the Blues at AMI Stadium on Saturday.
Blackadder said that in Read's absence George Whitelock had done a fine job leading the team but Read's experience and fire-power means so much to the Crusaders.
"Every time he gets the ball he is smashing through the defence and it was good to have him back," Blackadder told Sportal.
Having lost 34-15 to the Blues earlier in the season Blackadder said that Saturday had been 'a pretty clinical performance' in trying conditions.
"I thought offensively we played really, really well and took the few opportunities when they arose," he said.
"Field position was critical, especially in that second half. The teams had felt each other out with a little bit of thrust and parry there and we tried to get a bit of structure."
"I was really pleased with the way we started the second half and kept the pressure on."
Blackadder said that Read's decision to use a lineout maul in the second half was the right one as it kept the Blues under pressure.
"These games are lost and won on gutsy calls and sometimes they come off and sometimes they don't," he said.
The coach was also pleased with the defensive effort the team put in during the first 10 minutes of the match especially Dan Carter who put everything on the line with his tackling.
Blackadder says that he feels the team have turned a corner mentally and that they were doing all of the little things right and he hopes that continues.
The match was Andy Ellis's 100th Super Rugby cap and Blackadder said that he was pleased that the halfback could celebrate his achievement with such a big win.
"He epitomises everything that is good about this franchise, he's a local boy, he's the most competitive man I've ever coached, he loves winning."
"He just absolutely loves winning."