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Blackadder says Kerr-Barlow is Chiefs danger man

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder expects a better prepared Chiefs team

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Article Published: Monday 23 July 2012|

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has identified Tawera Kerr-Barlow as one of the Chiefs main danger men ahead of the Super Rugby Semi-final between the Chiefs and Crusaders.

Blackadder has revealed that Kerr-Barlow will have a target on his back as his players will be told to be alert for his runs and ferreting around the scrum base.

When the Crusaders and the Chiefs played each other earlier this month Kerr-Barlow spoiled the exit-ball from the Crusaders scrum and proved that he was an accurate defender.

"I think their 9 (Kerr-Barlow) is the key to their game," Blackadder told the Timaru Herald.

"He has had an outstanding season and Aaron Cruden and Sonny Bill (Williams) give them all their go-forward. "

"But I think if you focus one area you can often take your eye off the ball. They are a complete side; they play smart rugby."

The Super Rugby match up gives former All Black Andy Ellis the opportunity to impress All Blacks coach Steve Hansen who played Piri Weepu and Aaron Smith earlier this season but also called up Ellis and Kerr-Barlow.

The difference could come down to experience which Ellis has more of having played in more Super Rugby knock out matches.

"Yeah, he puts a lot of pressure on around scrum and ruck time," Ellis acknowledged.

"And our scrum ball was just a little bit untidy last time when they probably turned us around a little bit. It was a little bit messy.

"This week Richie and I will be just wanting dead flat ball. We don't want the scrum to move at all, just get it to his feet and move it."

Blackadder expects the Chiefs to try and get more opportunities with the ball for the likes of Sonny Bill Williams after he scored a try in the last clash and took four players with him over the tryline.

"They will be better prepared, we gave them a real wake-up call and they have had two weeks to sort it out," Blackadder said.

"I expect they will throw some new stuff out there and try and catch us off guard."

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