The Crusaders' experiment of playing All Black Dan Carter at second-five is likely to continue in their match against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.
Tom Taylor was given Carter's number 10 jersey and the kicking duties against the Stormers at Christchurch Stadium on Saturday and he flourished, scoring all of his team's points in the 31-24 victory against the previously unbeaten side from Cape Town.
The 23-year-old didn't miss a kick, joining four other players who have slotted eight penalties in a Super Rugby match, and converted his own first-half try for good measure.
Carter's shift sideways was a strategy to counter the Stormers' suffocating defence and to add a cultured kicking option into the midfield. And while it was originally going to be a temporary move, Carter might have to get used to it.
"We're unlikely to change a combination that worked so well for us," said Crusaders' coach Todd Blackadder yesterday. The move takes the pressure off Carter as he works his way back from a groin injury, although he did occasionally find himself in the playmaker's role, which was also planned, Blackadder said.
The kicking strategy - constant hoofing of the ball downfield - has raised eyebrows, as has playing one of the best first-fives in the world at second-five. But while it worked against the South Africans, Blackadder said the kick-fest wasn't something the Crusaders would apply every week.
Asked whether it would reappear against the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium next Saturday, he said: "They are a very good counter-attacking team so we wouldn't want to give them too much."
- APNZBy Patrick McKendry Email Patrick