Super Rugby

Blackadder wants Crusaders to be more disciplined




Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder has called on his Super Rugby players to be more disciplined when they host the Jaguares in Christchurch.

Blackadder has pointed to the line out drive in particular as one of f the Argentine teams real strengths.

“They are big, strong, physical guys and if we don’t get things right at the set piece, they will play merry hell with us,” Blackadder told NZN.

“Our discipline is going to be critical because tries are scored on the back of someone being offside and the kick to the corner, and then you are trying to defend their strength.”

The Crusaders lost their season opening match but have now strung together five successive wins and are hoping to match 2011’s record of six straight wins.

The Jaguares have had the opposite this season as they beat the Cheetahs and have lost every match since then.

Over the past two weeks the Jaguares have lost to the Blues and the Hurricanes in New Zealand but have brought back a number of their best players for this week.

In all the Jaguares have made s nine changes for the Crusaders and have started Pumas skipper Agustin Creevy in the team.

Blackadder said that he was not surprised to see the way the Jaguares rotated their players and says it is a reflection of how tough Super Rugby is.

“What we’ve got to do is play well and put those combinations under pressure,” he said.

“If we allow them to get physical, get over the gain line and bully us at the contact, it could be a tough night.”

The Crusaders have brought one of their stars back for this match as fullback Israel Dagg will start his first match this season.

Even though Dagg has only had 30 minutes of club rugby Blackadder chose not to ease him back through the bench.

“We thought it was best to take all the anxiety away and throw him out there,” he said.

“He had a great week of training last week with us. He’s ready to go.”

Meanwhile midfielder Ryan Crotty will be playing in his 100th Super Rugby match which makes him the 14th Crusader and 42nd New Zealander to reach the milestone.

Crotty will be presented with a special New Zealand Rugby greenstone mere to mark the occasion after the Crusaders’ home-ground match against the visiting Jaguares, from Argentina.

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew acknowledged Crotty’s achievement as a great cause for celebration in Christchurch.

“Since making his Super Rugby debut back in 2009, Ryan has grown into an invaluable member of the Crusaders. He is an incredibly talented and versatile player who sets the bar of professionalism very high for all players. ”

“He’s a humble man and a natural leader who not only inspires his teammates but also his fans. Off the field, he is also generous in giving back to the game. On behalf of New Zealand Rugby, we congratulate him on the pending milestone,” Tew said.

Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder paid tribute to the immense contribution Crotty makes both on and off the rugby field: “Crotts is a superb player who has managed to grow his game year on year.”

“His contribution is equally important off the field though, where Crotts is both a respected leader and a valued teammate. It will be a proud night for Ryan, his family, his New Brighton Rugby Club and for all of us here. I know the boys will be determined to make Friday night memorable for their good mate.”

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