Todd hails Crusaders scrum

    2011-07-04 07:02
    Stephen Nell

    Cape Town – Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder hailed his side’s scrumming as “unbelievably awesome” after Saturday’s emphatic 29-10 Super Rugby semi-final victory over the Stormers at Newlands.

    “We decided two years ago we really wanted to take pride in our set-piece and it has been constant hard work to get where we are today. I think all of the front-rowers have played their part and Dave Hewett (assistant coach) has done a great job,” said Blackadder.

    The Crusaders’ pack spearheaded the victory and their dominance in the scrums reached frightening proportions. The same front-row combination – Wyatt Crockett, Corey Flynn and Own Franks – have this year also had the upper hand over the Sharks’ Springbok combination of Tendai Mtwarira, Bismarck du Plessis and Jannie du Plessis.

    “Obviously the guys know that set-piece pressure is critical in these big games,” said Blackadder.

    “Our lineout defence was also outstanding. We put a lot of pressure on the Stormers’ ball and it just shows in these big games how important that is. But the scrum is huge. It’s a real strength of ours.”

    However, if the Crusaders of 2011 will be remembered for anything, it’s their character. They have not even been able to play a home game in Christchurch this year and indications are that the AMI Stadium is going to be written off following permanent damage inflicted by earthquakes.

    Yet the whole episode has instilled a positive attitude in the Crusaders for away games and Blackadder jokingly referred to them as the “Traveling Wilburys”.

    This week they hit the road for Brisbane and they will stay there for the week rather than succumb to the temptation of first flying back home.

    “We will spend the week in Brisbane,” Blackadder confirmed. “The guys are excited. The reason you work so hard is to be able to get these opportunities. We know how to travel and prepare for matches like this. It won’t be a problem,” said Blackadder.

    The Crusaders will be playing in their 10th final on Saturday. They have won seven titles and finished runners-up twice.

    Blackadder himself was a playing legend, but he believes the current crop is “far better” than his generation.

    “I don’t think we could have done what this team is capable of. This team has just managed to get on with the business week in and week out. We had the comfort of home games and these guys didn’t. There are some great leaders in this side,” he said.

    Blackadder mentioned how appealing the Cape Town Stadium looked, but the Crusaders are looking for a home base in Christchurch.

    Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Sport Talk
    Most Read


    13 February 2015
    • Crusaders v Melbourne Rebels, Christchurch 08:35
    • Brumbies v Reds, Canberra 10:40
    • Lions v Hurricanes, Johannesburg 19:10
    14 February 2015
    • Blues v Chiefs, Albany 08:35
    • Sharks v Cheetahs, Durban 17:05
    • Bulls v Stormers, Pretoria 19:10
    15 February 2015
    • Waratahs v Western Force, Sydney 07:05


    02 August 2014
    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014


    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Does the Waratahs' Super Rugby victory give the Wallabies an edge heading into the Rugby Championship?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.