Fracture could rule McCaw out

Fri, 28 Feb 2014 12:24
Large richie mccaw crusaders pens

The Crusaders will be sweating over the fitness of All Black captain Richie McCaw, who suffered a suspected fractured thumb.

The Crusaders will be sweating over the fitness of All Black captain Richie McCaw, who suffered a suspected fractured thumb.

McCaw, who was replaced at half-time in the Crusaders' 24-35 loss to the Blues in Auckland on Friday, has gone for scans.

If the results of X-rays confirm the fracture, the star loose forward could be sidelined for up to six weeks.

It will literally add injury to insult, following a second disappointing loss for the seven-time champions -  sitting near the bottom of the table as one of five teams who have yet to collect any points in a competition now into its third week.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder bemoaned the high error count that cost his team so dearly.

They managed to build up a handy 17-3 lead inside the first half-hour, but then the Blues cruelly exposed their defensive frailties.

"Two mistakes and bang, bang, we were under pressure once again," Blackadder said of two quick tries scored in the 34th and 36th minutes that saw a 14-point lead become a 17-all scoreline at the half-time break.

"Then in the second half we just piled the pressure back on ourselves by making those errors once again and you are into playing catch-up."

The Crusaders mentor also bemoaned the fact that they had taken the foot off the gas when they were in control at the end of the first half-hour.

"Momentum shifts [like those in the game] quite often come down to individual errors and mistakes made allow a team back in, and then another mistake's made and it is really around individual skill sets at critical times," he said.

That was why when teams were in control of matches they needed to do the little things, the basics, really well.

Captain Kieran Read, who was playing his first game of the season said it was just little things the side was doing wrong that were costly.

"It's just a couple of little errors that let a good side back in and the Blues are a really good side at taking that momentum and running with it. Either side of half-time is really important and we just weren't switched on," he said.

Read wasn't totally downcast by the effort. The first and final quarters had been good efforts and they had scored some good set-piece tries.

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