Todd Blackadder to keep reins at Crusaders
August 7, 2014
Todd Blackadder and Richie McCaw went within one minute of winning the Crusaders' eighth Super Rugby title © Getty Images
Todd Blackadder will direct the Crusaders for at least one more season, with franchise chief executive Hamish Riach endorsing the coach and assistants Dave Hewett, Tabai Matson and Aaron Mauger even before the commencement of end-of-season interviews and reviews.
"They combined really well and guided the team to within two minutes of the trophy - they are a great group and we look forward to them continuing again next year," Riach said of the coaching panel. "They are good men who will dust themselves off and start learning lessons from this campaign and put plans in place for next year."
Blackadder has guided the Crusaders to two grand finals and four semi-finals, but he had not won a title in six years at the helm - a record criticised occasionally as "under-achievement" given the strength of the squad in Christchurch.
Todd Blackadder laments '50-50 decision'%]
Hence Blackadder lamented in particular the "50-50 decision" to award the last-minute penalty from which Bernard Foley kicked the Waratahs' Super Rugby title-winning goal at ANZ Stadium on Saturday, but Reich commended the coach and his team for their efforts after a slow start to the season saw them with a 2-3 win-loss record and facing a stiff task to make the finals.
"They have worked so hard to get to that point of having their nose in front until the last couple of minutes and then to have it disappear - you can imagine their disappointment is palpable," Riach told Fairfax Media in New Zealand.
"Overall, right now, it is hard to get past the raw emotion of a narrow loss. It hurts like hell the week after. But if you take a step away from that it was great to be in the final, we are full of admiration of the way the coaches and the team turned around the slow start and played some pretty decent footy along the way."
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