Hertford Highlander

Kiwi Super 15 Pre-Season Preview – The Crusaders


Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :All Blacks, Original Content, Super Rugby on 7 Jan 2011 at 05:02
Tagged with : , , ,

The Canterbury machine looks poised again to be New Zealand’s front runner in the newly formatted Super 15 Rugby Competition.

If you were a coach with free reign to select whoever you wished in the Shaky Isles, you would be happy if you ended up with this lot.

It is an enviable squad packed full of All Blacks, with the entire pack with international experience complimented with an equally talented backline division.

The notable additions this year are yet two more 2010 All Blacks, with Israel Dagg’s move north from the Highlanders and Sonny Bill Williams arrival from Toulon in France. Both players are sure to feature for the All Blacks in the run into the 2011 RWC.

Current 2010 All Blacks include:

Richie McCaw, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Sam Whitelock, Brad Thorn, Kieran Read, Daniel Carter, Sonny Bill Williams, Andy Ellis, and Israel Dagg.

There are also former All Blacks in the form of :

Chris Jack, Zac Guilford, George Whitelock and Wyatt Crockett.

International flavour is added by Kahn Fotuali’i who is the current Samoan scrum half.

The Crusaders also illustrate how they look to look after their own with the promotion of five players from their wider training group from last year with scrumhalf Willi Heinz, prop Andrew Olorenshaw, lock Joe Wheeler, hooker Quentin MacDonald and flanker Matt Todd all making the step up to the full squad for 2011.

Their are also several new Super Rugby players in the form of Tasman five-eighth Tom Marshall, Southland prop Nick Barrett, Canterbury lock Luke Romano and Canterbury Colt and New Zealand Under-19 captain Tyler Bleyendaal.

Finally the lure of the region is as strong as always, with accurate goal kicking fly half Matt Berquist and rake David Hall (from the Highlanders) new additions.

All in all a squad that looks like it will have the fire power to cruise through the Conference and make the last six of the competition for the 2011 play-offs.

It also seems only All Black Captain McCaw and 35 year old lock Brad Thorn will be given an extended summer break, with all other All Blacks expected to front for the first match of the competition. It looks like the directive from the All Black selectors is for the current All Blacks to be given a two week break at some stage of the season preferably around the time when the team is experiencing a bye round.

Todd Blackadder will commence his third season as coach, and will be very keen to win a Super Rugby title, with the last crown coming in 2008 under Robbie Deans (who has won a record five championships).

He is assisted this year by new forwards coach Dave Hewett, the former manager of the Canterbury team last year, taking over from Mark Hammett who moves to take charge of the Hurricanes.

Crusaders Full Squad

Fullbacks: Israel Dagg

Wingers: Zac Guildford, Sean Maitland, Adam Whitelock

Midfield: Ryan Crotty, Robbie Fruean, Tom Marshall, Sonny Bill Williams

First five-eigths: Matt Berquist, Tyler Bleyendaal, Daniel Carter

Halfbacks: Andy Ellis, Kahn Fotuali’i, Willi Heinz

Loose forwards: Richie McCaw, Jonathan Poff, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, George Whitelock

Locks: Chris Jack, Luke Romano, Brad Thorn, Joe Wheeler, Sam Whitelock

Props: Nicholas Barrett, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Andrew Olorenshaw

Hookers: Corey Flynn, David Hall, Quentin MacDonald

Crusaders Super Record

1998 Crusaders beat Blues 20 – 13 in the Final – Super 12 Champions
1999 Crusaders beat Highlanders 24 – 19 in the Final – Super 12 Champions
2000 Crusaders beat Brumbies 20 – 19 in the Final – Super 12 Champions
2002 Crusaders beat Brumbies 31 – 13 in the Final – Super 12 Champions
2003 Crusaders lost to the Blues 17 – 21 in the Final – Super 12 Runner Up
2004 Crusaders lost to the Brumbies 38 – 47 in the Final – Super 12 Runner Up
2005 Crusaders beat Waratahs 35 – 25 in the Final – Super 12 Champions
2006 Crusaders beat the Hurricanes 19 – 12 in the Final – Super 14 Champions
2007 Crusaders losing Semi Finalist
2008 Crusaders beat Waratahs 20 – 12 in the Final – Super 14 Champions
2009 Crusaders losing Semi Finalist
2010 Crusaders losing Semi Finalist



49 Comments

  • What an earth were they doing in 2001 ? :lol:

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.01.11 05:05:47 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford HighlanderSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 1) :
    Richie was resting for the 2011 RWC. :lol:

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.01.11 05:48:11 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Where do u find weaknesses in this team..wish we had a sonny bill centre in our team..cause mayhem with alberts n deysel..

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.01.11 07:07:11 by shaniboi Reply

    shaniboiVodacom Cup player
     
  • So barring 2001 they have been in every knockout phase…talk about high standards the bulls keep talking bout..this team is the greatest union in the world..

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.01.11 07:08:31 by shaniboi Reply

    shaniboiVodacom Cup player
     
  • Guys one question..isn’t this the reason why new zealand do so well all the time..their core team is based one or two unions..

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.01.11 07:12:40 by shaniboi Reply

    shaniboiVodacom Cup player
     
  • The Saders will be the team to beat once again in the S15…what a squad!!!

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.01.11 08:06:41 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
    Assistant coach
     
  • Not a bad squad… could do some damage in their conference. although they all seem to mix it up for a while at the beginning of the year before becoming settled… I feel that the reason the ABs do so well (between World Cups…) is self-belief, and the reason they don’t do so well at World Cups….

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.01.11 09:47:15 by Champion Shark Reply
    Competition Winner
    Champion SharkVodacom Cup player
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : LOL. That’s actually pretty good…

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.01.11 10:03:35 by klempie Reply

    klempieTeam captain
     
  • Awesome team. Now how can this be a fair tourney, when some have to play Saders and others not? :???:

    Saders will be the team to beat for sure. Don’t see many doing it. Dagg and Sonny Bill in that side too.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.01.11 10:39:02 by Puma Reply

    PumaCurrie Cup player
     
  • that is a sick, sick squad!

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.01.11 11:32:45 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : :lol:

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.01.11 11:39:40 by Puma Reply

    PumaCurrie Cup player
     
  • Gulp!

    We face them on the end of a 4 week tour . . . in Christchurch!

    Am I right to assume Lions are the only ones who`ll miss the Crusers this year?

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.01.11 11:58:29 by Original Champion Reply
    Author
    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Original Champion (Comment 12) : one of the aussie teams will miss them too

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.01.11 11:59:12 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Just looked at the fixtures and don’t see Bulls playing Saders either. Could have missed it will look again.

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.01.11 14:16:07 by Puma Reply

    PumaCurrie Cup player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Okay just checked. Bulls do play Saders in Christchurch too. Seems only Lions from our Conference that don’t play Saders.

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.01.11 14:19:12 by Puma Reply

    PumaCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Puma (Comment 15) : lucky buggers… and we get to skip the Reds and the Highlanders.

    Not sad about the Reds, actually…

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.01.11 14:53:17 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : Agree Rob,

    Looks like we play all the top teams. Reds though played really well last year, so maybe not playing them is fine. They sort of our bogey team too. We did beat them at home last year.

    Just think this format is flawed that some don’t play the top teams. Think every team has to play each other once. Don’t agree with us playing twice against the Saffa teams twice either. Hope this tourney goes eventually back to the old format, it worked well. This way if 3 in a conference end with top log points, the 2nd and 3rd of that conference gets pushed to 4th and 5th play off. Crazy system this. Teams that end top 4 should always play in the semi and reward the top point team with a home final, if they win their semi.

    Have to see how it goes this year Rob, somehow think plenty won’t like this format. It will change I feel.

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.01.11 15:50:18 by Puma Reply

    PumaCurrie Cup player
     
  • Cant see how the crusaders won’t finish top. its going to be tough for SA teams because we hav three teams who are pretty evenly matched and unless 1 team dominates both others home and away, then the crusades are gonna hav a slight advantage because they are without a doubt new zealands best team and hav a good shot of beating their other teams home and away, whereas our top 3 are better matched.

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.01.11 19:32:10 by RuckingFun Reply

    RuckingFunTeam captain
     
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 1) : 1 question + 1 opinion please.

    Q: Tim Bateman – do you know what’s happened to him?

    O: Andy Ellis vs Kahn Fotuali’i. Kahn impressed me so much when he covered for injured Ellis last season and again during the November tests. Being Samoan, he’s obviously going to have to play 2nd fiddle to Ellis, but in your opinion, who’s the better scrummie and why?

    Thanks.

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.01.11 20:01:39 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    beetCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Pokkel: “crusaders will once again be the team to beat this year”.. The bulls have been the team to beat the past few seasons..let’s not get over-awed by these paper champs..hope the bulls and stormers can carry-on from last season’s form and hopefully the sharks can also do better..still want a sa team to win this comp..

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.01.11 20:30:53 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • So we play the saders in their backyard..but they must also travel and play us in the shark tank

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.01.11 20:32:42 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • Just saw the conference system hahahahaha are they basing this on NFL conference system cause thats going to cause tears .Why don,t they go back to the old system how can one more team cause them to redo the whole format .Really don,t understand this thinking why don,t rugby executives stop trying to copy the NFL

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.01.11 20:34:05 by zvision10 Reply

    zvision10Under 21 player
     
  • @shaniboi: let’s not belittle the bulls on this thread.they are an sa team who will be competing against those aus and kiwi teams as such..let’s give them our support..our full support when they play these foreigners..
    The bulls played in the 1996 semi_final vs blues (in auckland)..I think the saders finished last in 1996..
    The bulls have won 3 titles in 4 years..that pretty much makes them the most dominant provincial union in the southern hemisphere..
    You can loathe certain sections of the bulls supporters but never underestimate or belittle the history and tradition of these guys..they have always been tough to beat..so much so that touring teams (abs and b&i lions) used to refer to the touring game vs bulls(nrthern tvl)as “the fifth test”..

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.01.11 20:46:32 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • Don’t forget how the stormers made these guys look awfully averafe last season..so they got some new players(and admittedly some really talented players),but I still thin a team like the stormers can beat saders home and away..stormers have the ball runners(skillful steppers) ,support play and defensive to do it..

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.01.11 20:53:50 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • Also andries bekker to dominate line-outs

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.01.11 20:58:45 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • Bulls lack a good 13..don’t rate jaco pretorius..

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.01.11 21:09:56 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • Very imspressive squad and the crusaders really have an brilliant record in super rugby!

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.01.11 22:08:18 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 26) : I rate him more than wynand olivier.

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.01.11 22:09:26 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 23) : uhm dude I’d rather have an overseas team win the super 15 before the bulls win it! I hate them more than any other team out there! They will never get my support no mather who they play against!

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.01.11 22:14:03 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
     
  • @beet (Comment 19) :

    Beet

    Answer 1. Tim Bateman has signed a two year contract with the Coca Cola Club in Japan. He has a three and one year old daughter plus he has slipped down the pecking order with the arrival of SBW and the continued rise of Robbie Freuan. I think it was an ideal time to sign a two year contract before all the big boys are looking for club contacts after the 2011 RWC. I imagine he will return when his oldest girl is due to go to school and resume his quest to be an AB maybe when a few big names are no longer with us post RWC.

    Answer 2. Kahn v Andy….. well if you judge it ability and form it is no contest it is KAHN all the way. He had a quality 2010 and will be a star at the looming RWC….South Africa are in their pool so you will be treated to them as well, along with some brilliant Fijians, both could finish above Wales.

    However I’m not an Andy Ellis fan and the return of Weepu should hopefully put pay to his RWC dream…Mathewson would be my third Scrummie.

  • Comment 30, posted at 08.01.11 01:38:42 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford HighlanderSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Ben:no,that is not the view we should take,Ben :-(
    Why don’t you like the blue bulls rugby team? This is the super15,a comp between teams from sa,aus and nz..as long as an sa teams win this I’m happy(as long as that victory is not achieved @ the expense of rwc’11 victory)

  • Comment 31, posted at 08.01.11 09:14:37 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • Wynand olivier in superrugby has looked like the world’s best 12 @times ..just not been able to take that form into test rugby

  • Comment 32, posted at 08.01.11 09:17:06 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Ben: I’m not a blue bulls fan or apolegetic lol .I really enjoying it when the sharks beat them(but I also enjoy it when the sharks beat the stormers,saders or northern free state).

  • Comment 33, posted at 08.01.11 09:21:17 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Ben (Comment 29) : Amen to that!

  • Comment 34, posted at 08.01.11 10:30:45 by Original Champion Reply
    Author
    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     
  • C’mon guys,let’s be patriotic ..

  • Comment 35, posted at 08.01.11 11:20:13 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • :-( I’d much rather see vic than richie walking around with the trophy

  • Comment 36, posted at 08.01.11 11:23:58 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 30) : Thank you.
    It’s sad that Bateman’s lost to the system for now. I think his debooo was against the Sharks as an 18 year old and he played really well. At the time I thought the only thing standing in the way of him making the ABs one day was his smallish frame. I’ve always been impressed by his distribution skills. Pity he couldn’t join the Highlanders or Rebels.
    I was surprised that the NZRU gave up the fight for Kahn’s services that easily. I’m also not big on the very ordinary Ellis – he doesn’t seem to have an X-factor about any of his play be it his passing, kicking, sniping or defence. But to be fair to him, he has been able to execute the basics really well a lot of the time and keep his error rate down in the process.
    Now that you’ve mentioned your preferred pecking order, the ABs look a bit light on quality halfbacks. Imagine if that 30 something year old Toulouse player decided to go home and have another crack at RWC glory :?:

  • Comment 37, posted at 08.01.11 13:57:20 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    beetCurrie Cup player
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 31) : No! As long as the sharks win it ill but happy otherwise I won’t be happy no mather who wins it I have more passion for the sharks than for the boks so stuff the bulls! I hate everything about them!

  • Comment 38, posted at 08.01.11 17:54:55 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 36) : I’d much rather see vic matfield lying on the ground crying!

  • Comment 39, posted at 08.01.11 18:01:34 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
     
  • @Ben:??

  • Comment 40, posted at 08.01.11 18:09:50 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • Paint vic in a sharks jersey for the last decade..how would your feelings be about vic,then ?

  • Comment 41, posted at 08.01.11 18:11:17 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 41) : my feelings would be the same! He’s an idiot that thinks the world owes him somethiong believe me I know people that know him well!

  • Comment 42, posted at 08.01.11 18:24:26 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 41) : Same as francois steyn even while he played for the sharks I hated the guy!

  • Comment 43, posted at 08.01.11 18:27:07 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
     
  • Harsh sentiments :-(

  • Comment 44, posted at 08.01.11 19:30:14 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • No new threads this weekend ??the reporters having an off-weekend?

  • Comment 45, posted at 08.01.11 20:37:06 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 45) : There is usually no news over a weekend, even during the season apart from the odd match report. What exactly are you looking for?

  • Comment 46, posted at 08.01.11 22:21:34 by war1 Reply
    Author
    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @war1: anything to do with rugby ,specifically the sharks.

  • Comment 47, posted at 08.01.11 22:28:40 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 47) : OK, I’ve been working on something for a while and should post it tonight, just don’t get too demanding of the authors please, remember we do this in our free time and because we enjoy it.

  • Comment 48, posted at 08.01.11 22:42:46 by war1 Reply
    Author
    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @war1: thanks.I wanted to pen something about an interview I saw sean fitzpatrick do this last friday and send it ti rob for approval..but a combo of busy and lazy stopped me lol

  • Comment 49, posted at 09.01.11 09:07:14 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.