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    Crusaders loss an 'anomaly'

    2014-05-19 09:03
    Cape Town - Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder is hoping his side's shock loss to the Sharks was a one-off poor performance.

    As it happened: Crusaders v Sharks

    The Sharks' 30-25 victory was their first ever over the Crusaders in Christchurch and also the first time a South African side had beaten the Crusaders in New Zealand since 2001.

    What made the win all the more remarkable was the fact that the Sharks did so by playing with 14 men for most of the game.

    Jean Deysel received a red card for stomping on 'Saders flank Jordan Taufua in the 16th minute and at one stage the Sharks were down to 13 men when No 8 Willem Alberts received a yellow card.

    But, despite the disciplinary lapses, the Sharks overcame their numerical disadvantage after the lead changed seven times in the tense clash.

    The Crusaders won the forward battle, yet despite dominating possession they were held out by a desperate defence by the Sharks, who outscored their opponents three tries to one.

    The Crusaders had come into the game on the back of some red-hot performances and were touted as heavy favourites by most pundits.

    A disappointed Blackadder urged his charges to forget the loss an re-focus for this Saturday's away game against the Highlanders.

    ''What they really need to highlight was that it was just a one-off performance because they had been playing really good football,'' Blackadder told the Stuff.co.nz website.

    ''This needs to be an anomaly. That's our challenge for next week, to show that it was.''

    Blackadder also won't have his full squad for several days.

    All Blacks duties mean he will be without 10 players until Wednesday, awarding him time to calm the storm inside his mind and to analyse why the Crusaders capitulated.

    Their game against the Highlanders in Dunedin kicks off at 07:35 (SA time) on Saturday.

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