Rugby: Todd Blackadder's belief as high as ever despite Crusaders' bruising loss

By Sam Hewat

Head Coach Todd Blackadder of the Crusaders. Photo / Getty
Head Coach Todd Blackadder of the Crusaders. Photo / Getty

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder knows his side face a tough task ahead in South Africa after a bruising finish to the Super Rugby regular season, however he has urged his players to move on and remain positive.

A tough 35-10 loss against the Hurricanes on Saturday left the Crusaders in a beaten state, with injuries to winger Nemani Nadolo and halfback Andy Ellis.

They have just two days rest before flying out to Johannesburg on Tuesday to face the Lions on Sunday morning (NZT).

However, Blackadder told the Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast that the belief he has in his team is as strong as ever.

"It's certainly not easy," Blackadder said. "But we've got a good plan and we have a good history of playing well in South Africa.

"There's a lot of belief, even though we lost on the weekend."

He admits if his side had played the way they prepared against the Hurricanes, they could have been staying in New Zealand this weekend.

Despite the loss, he was still impressed with his side's reslience and thinks that will carry over to their playoff match against the Lions.

"I think 171 tackles shows you the guys were willing and had great courage and put a lot into that game," he said.

The Crusaders have already trumped the Lions in South Africa, winning 43-37 back in round six.

They also completed their South African trip with wins over the Sharks and Kings.

This weekend, they will be without Nadolo, however, they will get a boost in the forwards with the return of Sam Whitelock.

Ellis is also expected to make a full recovery before the weekend's game.

- NZ Herald

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