Crusaders coach impressed with Rebels - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crusaders coach impressed with Rebels

Melissa Woods 05/02/2011 11:59:26 PM Comments (0)

The Melbourne Rebels may not have won the game but they won a surprise fan in Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder.

In their final trial ahead of their Super rugby debut later this month the Rebels were edged 19-14 at AAMI Park by the Crusaders, who are the most successful side in the competition's history.

But Blackadder was glowing in his praise of the new team, and thought they had a promising future in the competition.

"I thought they were a really good side and in the first half they really took the game to us and put us under pressure," he said.

"They've got some good strengths there.

"Particularly in the last quarter when they picked up their game and played with good intensity and had our defence in all sorts of trouble.

"I think the Rebels can take a lot of confidence, it's about building, they've got two weeks to get their game right and I think they'll be really really competitive, they're a good side".

He singled out Rebels winger Peter Betham, who came on late and almost sparked the home side to victory with his speed and incisive running.

"He really made some impact and just walked through our defence at times."

He rated his own team's performance as "patchy" and said they had a lot of work to do.

"We put a lot of pressure on ourselves and fumbled our way through it to be honest."

Because of the new format of the expanded competition the Rebels won't meet the Crusaders during regular competition, which disappointed Blackadder.

"I would have liked to have played them, I like to play everyone but we'll be watching the Rebels, we've got onE of our Crusaders here, one of our ex-boys (Greg Somerville).

"I think they'll surprise a lot of teams and there's no way you'd want to take them lightly because you'll get beaten."

The Crusaders lost All Black Israel Dagg early in the match with the fullback limping from the field.

However Blackadder said he had a corked thigh and should make a quick recovery.

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