Richard Ferguson

Super Rugby preview – Crusaders


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :All Blacks, Original Content, Super Rugby on 15 Feb 2012 at 08:30
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , ,

The Crusaders are always favourites to go on and take the Super Rugby title, especially at this time of the season, when all the speculation starts. A couple of seasons now without the trophy, one has to think that they will try a bit harder this season.

Losing in the final against the Reds must have really been annoying, especially after coming so far after their home ground advantage was taken away from them by an earthquake this time last year. Still pretty much without a home ground, the Crusaders will be going out there and doing it for their fans.

The squad looks very similar to the one we saw last year, with only Money Bill Williams and Brad Thorn missing. The management was quite sharp though, they have recruited Tom Donnelly as a straight replacement. As for Williams, they have a good replacement in Ryan Crotty.

Their two biggest stars will miss the opening rounds of the competition, but again this will play to their advantage as Carter and McCaw would not have to be rested come the latter half of the season. In Matt Todd they have a fantastic talent that will be eagerly awaiting his chance to shine.

The Crusaders squad is balanced as always, with an immense front row with the Franks brothers, Corey Flynn and Wyatt Crockett adding their weight, with a loose trio of Todd, Whitelock and Read to start off the season with.

In the backline they have Andy Ellis running the show from scrumhalf and an amazing back three of Zac Guildford, Sean Maitland and Israel Dagg. Look out for Tyler Bleyendaal to make an impact in the absence of Dan Carter.

All in all, I think it is pretty much a guaranteed fact that the Crusaders will end the season as number one in the New Zealand conference, with only really the Blues able to stop their dominance.

2012 Crusaders Super Rugby Squad
Richie McCaw
Nick Barrett
Tyler Bleyendaal
Dan Carter
Wyatt Crockett
Ryan Crotty
Israel Dagg
Tom Donnelly
Andrew Ellis
Corey Flynn
Ben Franks
Owen Franks
Robbie Fruean
Ben Funnell
Zac Guildford
Willi Heinz
Ross Kennedy
Quentin MacDonald
Sean Maitland
Tom Marshall
Patrick Osborne
Kieran Read
Luke Romano
Tom Taylor
Matt Todd
Joe Wheeler
Adam Whitelock
George Whitelock
Luke Whitelock
Sam Whitelock



4 Comments

  • Watch out for Tyler Bleyendaal, was the 2010 NZ U20 flyhalf and Captain. Granted he’ll be sitting behind Dan Carter but with Carter not returning till the end of March he’ll stake a claim to the jersey.

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.02.12 12:07:20 by slammerboy Reply
    slammerboyUnder 21 player
     
  • Its going to be interesting to see how Fruean goes without those beautiful in the tackle offloads from SBW.

    Tom Marshall is a bit like Nano-Williams. A coach just wants him to figure in the plans but not sure how to get it right.

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.02.12 12:37:30 by beet Reply
    beetCurrie Cup player
     
  • @beet (Comment 2) : Looks like the Freauns centre partner will be Ryan Crotty, Tom Taylor or Adam Whitelock. Crotty I’ve seen before but I’m not familiar with Taylor and Whitelock

    Tom Marshall will play second fiddle to iDagg

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.02.12 12:51:52 by slammerboy Reply
    slammerboyUnder 21 player
     
  • Crusaders have a tough opening fixture against the Blues without the luxury of DC and McCaw.

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.02.12 12:52:15 by Original Pierre Reply
    Author
    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.