McKenzie shakes his Crusaders hoodoo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McKenzie shakes his Crusaders hoodoo

Jim Morton 10/07/2011 07:22:06 PM Comments (0)

National coach-in-waiting Ewen McKenzie is set to extend his Queensland tenure after shrugging the Crusaders' monkey from his back with the Reds.

The Queensland Rugby Union is this week expected to shore up a new deal with McKenzie who masterminded the Reds' amazing transformation from Super Rugby battlers to 2011 champions.

The former Waratahs coach has made a mockery of NSW's decision to discard him in 2008 after taking them to three finals campaigns in five seasons, including two deciders.

He was contracted by the Reds for three years until the end of next year but the QRU and McKenzie have started talks to extend it through the 2013 season.

The timing is significant as the Australian Rugby Union are currently in the process of recontracting Robbie Deans for a further two years beyond the World Cup until 2013 when the British and Irish Lions tour.

"I'm contracted for next year and we have already talked about life beyond that but we've been busy so now we have a chance for more discussions," McKenzie told AAP.

He admitted Queensland's 18-13 final success was made even the more sweeter for him as it came against the Crusaders.

They denied the Waratahs the championship in Christchurch in 2005 and 2008 and, while McKenzie was an assistant coach at the Brumbies in 2000, the Crusaders produced an upset final win in Canberra.

"Personally that's my fourth final and sure enough the Crusaders have always been against you," he said.

"It's an even more satisfying result because they've been the best team in the competition for so long."

Queensland were the laughing stocks when McKenzie took over in late 2009, having been entrenched in the bottom three of the ladder from 2004.

The lowest point came in 2007 when they took the wooden spoon and were belted 92-3 in the competition's worst ever loss to the Bulls.

The performances over the past two years - winning 23 of 31 matches, which is three more than they achieved inthe previous six years - have gone to bury haunting memories of the humiliation.

Will Genia was the star for the Reds, in front of their biggest home crowd of 52,113, but the performances of centres Ben Tapuai and Anthony Faingaa and No.8 Radike Samo were just as crucial.

Tapuai and Faingaa were brilliant in defence while Samo celebrated his 35th birthday with a rugged game, in the process holding up Brad Thorn over the line in the 47th minute in a major turning point.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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