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Blackadder rings the changes

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 17 May 2012 at 08:00
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Now, I’m sure that a team as experienced as the Crusaders are – or rather, a coach as experienced as Todd Blackadder is – would know that pushing the panic button after an unexpected loss in Super Rugby is generally never the right thing to do.

Blackadder has named his side to face the Blues in Addington this weekend and with 7 changes to the starting fifteen that suffered a shock defeat to the Rebels last week, though, that appears to be exactly what the coach has done. Then again, the Crusaders have a fair amount of depth at their disposal and with a number of the changes injury enforced, perhaps Blackadder is not making such sweeping changes to the team entirely of his own volition.

Neither Luke Whitelock nor Kieran Read is available this week, meaning a return to the open side flank position for Matt Todd and a shift to 8 for captain Richie McCaw. Tom Taylor is also injured, so Dan Carter finally gets to move back to flyhalf, with Ryan Crotty coming in at 12 to partner Rob Fruean in the centres. Both Willi Heinz and Tom Marshall have been dropped – to be fair, I guess we could say that they were really second stringers anyway brought in just to get game time against the supposedly-weaker Rebels. That plan backfired a little and we see Andy Ellis and Israel Dagg back at scrumhalf and fullback respectively this week. The Whitelock that isn’t a forward (Adam) moves to right wing.


1. Wyatt Crockett
2. Corey Flynn
3. Owen Franks
4. Luke Romano
5. Samuel Whitelock
6. George Whitelock
7. Matt Todd
8. Richie McCaw (c)
9. Andy Ellis
10. Dan Carter (vc)
11. Zac Guildford
12. Ryan Crotty
13. Robbie Fruean
14. Adam Whitelock
15. Israel Dagg

16. Quentin MacDonald
17. Ben Franks
18. Tom Donnelly
19. Brendon O’Connor
20. WIlli Heinz
21. Tyler Bleyendaal
22. Tom Marshall

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