Blackadder happy after Crusaders warm up

Crusaders’ coach Todd Blackadder gave his team a pass mark after their internal Super Rugby warm up against a development team at Rugby Park on Saturday.

The Crusaders played their Knights’ development team in game made up of three 20-minute intervals and won the match 67-5

The match allowed Blackadder to rotate most of his squad during the trial and says that he was pleased with their intensity and execution.

“Fitness-wise the guys were good. We’re really treating the next three weeks like a trial game,” Blackadder told Fairfax NZ News.

“It’s really about the performance. Guys have got an opportunity there to stake a claim for a starting jersey.”

Several of Blackadder’s All Blacks only returned to training early last week so they sat out of the match but the coach expects them to be considered for selection in Friday night’s Super Rugby warm up against the Highlanders in Motueka.

All Black lock Luke Romano played for 40 minutes in the trial and Blackadder said that he was impressed with tighthead Owen Franks who said was “effectiv”

“What was really pleasing was the intent and the attitude. It was bloody fantastic. Everyone played well. For our guys, I expected them to play well and they did. It was a great start to the campaign.”

Blackadder was also relieved that the trial produced no new injuries aside from th”odd bump and bruise”.

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