Praise of the Crusaders

Having started the season with just a win in the first five rounds, no one expected the Crusaders to be able to claim a spot in the top four. Having suffered cruel injuries to almost any senior player (Franks, McCaw, MacDonald, Thorn, Ellis, Laulala...) early in the season, what were the real chances of the Crusaders to make way through to the semis?

Todd Blackadder's team has been able to do so. Youngsters like Colin Slade or Ryan Crotty have been inmense. Veterans like Kieran Read have glued the team together. And wins over every major foe (and a sole loss to the Cheetahs) in the last 8 weeks have put them where we all wanted them to be.

Congratulations, Crusaders. Robbie Deans has spoken of the resilience of the Brumbies. Fighting against everything to keep their hopes alive. He has not spoken of you, guys, who have done as well as the Brumbies until round 13, and have bettered what the Brumbies achieved in the last round.

Now, how valuable was the last-second goal kick by Leon MacDonald against the Cheetahs? Or how much is worth the fourth try scored against the Hurricanes in Christchurch?

Wonderful job, boys. And remember you have already beaten the Bulls this season.


Nursedude said...

A lot of people in the southern hemisphere hate the Crusaders-success has a way of doing that. But you have to give them credit, like Leicester in England, Munster in the Magners League and Toulouse in France, they are a big-game team that has a culture of winning and success. A few weeks ago, the Crusaders looked dead and buried. Write this team off at your peril.

sesenta y cuatro said...

Hm.. It is a pity that this culture of winning is not exported to the national team...

Anonymous said...

I can't remember too terribly well the Greek myth about the thread and the maze and the Minotaur but if the Crusaders beat the Bulls in Pretoria Todd Blackadder will enter the rugby history books as the best coach since Kitch Christie.