Blackadder's selection headache

Tue, 25 Feb 2014 11:23
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Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder will have a selection headache to deal with while choosing his side to play the Blues on Friday.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder will have a selection headache to deal with while choosing his side to play the Blues on Friday.
 
The seven-times champions underperformed in last week's 10-18 reverse at the hands of the Chiefs and the performance is certain to result in flyhalf Tyler Bleyendaal's axing, with Colin Slade now available, but it is how Blackadder re-jigs the rest of his team that remains a mystery.
 
Captain and eightman Kieran Read was rested from the Super Rugby opener but is certain to start at Eden Park on Friday, meaning Luke Whitelock will make way for the All Blacks star.
 
The other selections seem less certain.
 
Blackadder said he was content with blindside flanker George Whitelock's efforts before he was replaced by Matt Todd in the 55th minute, but may be tempted to revamp his back row to allow the latter to start in the number seven jersey.
 
Todd, admittedly against a tiring opponent, motored through holes in the Chiefs defence on several ocassions and remains a handy fetcher at the breakdown.
 
If Todd starts against the Blues it would require Richie McCaw to shift to the less-preferred blindside role - something he did in the final 25 minutes against the Chiefs, and for George Whitelock to drop to the bench.
 
"There's a few selection headaches that we have got because everyone is playing well. 
 
"George, in the time he was out there, actually played really well," Blackadder said.
 
"But certainly Matt Todd, when he came on, really made a huge impact. There will be some hard calls."
 
Blackadder, who must be bitterly disappointed that his side squandered their 20-month unbeaten streak in Christchurch, will want to send a message about individual accountability following a display full of poor goal kicking, inaccurate passing and clumsy handling.
 
With flyhalf Bleyendaal, who missed all of his five penalty attempts before being replaced by Tom Taylor at half-time, certain to be demoted, Blackadder has to decide whether to run Slade or Taylor at number 10 in the absence of Dan Carter who is on sabbatical.
 
Although centre Reynold Lee-Lo was solid against the Chiefs, there must be a temptation to shift Ryan Crotty to centre to allow All Blacks team-mate Taylor to start at inside centre.
 
The duo could straighten the attack and build a combination that could see the backline reproduce some of the form seen last last season.
 
Crusaders' wings Johnny McNicholl and Nafi Tuitavake were a mixed bag but it remains to be seen whether Zac Guildford, who played for the academy side last week, is in line for a re-call.
 
After dominating possession but wasting numerous scoring opportunities against the Chiefs, the challenge for the Crusaders this week is to execute the basics correctly.
 
"Goal kicking aside, we still had enough opportunities in the score zone," Blackadder acknowledged. 
 
"We were in the right part of the field but just didn't put on enough pressure because of individual errors.
 
"We just can't afford to let teams off the hook," the coach addded.
 
Fairfax NZ News
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Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
RESULT SCORE
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
Sale Sharks v Wasps 34 | 28
Sat, 18 February 2017
Connacht v Dragons 14 | 9
Ospreys v Munster 23 | 25
Leicester Tigers v Bristol 50 | 17
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 37 | 17
Bath v Harlequins 22 | 12
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Blues 1 1 0 0 5
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 0 0 0 0 0
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Cheetahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Sharks 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 0 0 0 0 0
Kings 0 0 0 0 0