Super Rugby

Blackadder won’t miss Super Rugby Refs and format

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Outgoing Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has said that there are many things he will miss about being involved with the Crusaders but the Super Rugby format is not one of them.

Blackadder took charge of the Crusaders in the Super 14 era and has coached them through the Super 15 era and the Super 18 era.


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The outgoing coach has watched Sanzaar expand the Super Rugby format twice during his eight year tenure and he is no fan of the competition’s unfair structure and standard of refereeing.

“There’ll be some things I won’t miss like the competition structure, especially this year and even last year. It’s not fair on those teams that perform consistently all competition,” Blackadder said.

“I know Sanzaar came out pretty strongly and said ‘this is the format’ but I don’t think anyone with their feet on the ground would agree with it.

“I won’t miss that, or the travel factor,” Blackadder told the Sunday Star Times.

“Somewhere along the line it needs a working party. It’s been 21 years and we definitely need some influence. The refereeing needs a bit of consistency as well.

“In spite of all the negatives I’ve loved coaching against the New Zealand teams. Our conference is so strong and develops the world’s best talent to play for the All Blacks.

“I’ve learnt a lot from my experiences; all the highs and the lows. I feel I’m a better coach and person because of that.”

Blackadder was in line for the Reds job but he and his assistant Tabai Matson will take charge of English Rugby Club Bath and he is looking forward to being out of Super Rugby for a while.

“The Reds job was really attractive because it’s going to be a big job to turn it around and they’re hungry for success as well. But I felt for me and [wife] Priscilla Bath was more attractive. I think they’ve got the right guy at the Reds in Nick Stiles.

“The exciting thing was to get out of Super Rugby for a couple of years and look at a different culture with a different competition. I’m looking forward to the structure of the week without the travel and it’s a beautiful place to live.”

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