Blackadder to continue coaching Crusaders in 2015

Crusaders Chief Executive Officer, Hamish Riach has confirmed that coach Todd Blackadder and his coaching team will have the board’s backing to stay on and coach the Crusaders for at least one more year.

The seven time Champions missed out on an eighth Super Rugby title by a single point when they were beaten 33-32 by the Waratahs last Saturday in the Super Rugby final.

The final loss means that the Crusaders have now gone six years without a Super Rugby title as their last title was in 2008. They reached the final in 2011 but also lost that in Brisbane to the Reds.

Crusaders boss Riach says that Blackadder and his assistants Dave Hewett, Tabai Matson and Aaron Mauger have signed with the Christchurch franchise until the end of the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Even though the Crusaders fell short in the Super Rugby final Riach says that the coaches will continue to have their bosses’ backing.

“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 told The Press.

“They are good men who will dust themselves off and start learning lessons from this campaign and put plans in place for next year. ”

The coaches will now go through their post-season reviews which will include facing the franchise’s board members.

Since joining the Crusaders in 2009 Blackadder has led the team to two finals and four Semi-finals but he has yet to win a title.

The Crusaders were unhappy with referee Craig Joubert’s controversial penalty against Richie McCaw in the second last minute of the final which allowed Bernard Foley to kick a 45m penalty and win the match.

Riach refused to comment on Joubert’s ruling but he commended Blackadder and his staff for reaching the final after they made a slow start.

“They are bitterly disappointed. 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.

“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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