Coach wants Crusaders Super discipline

Coach Todd Blackadder has highlighted the need for discipline when the Crusaders host the Jaguares in Christchurch.

Ahead of the Super Rugby clash on Friday night, Blackadder points to the lineout drive as one of the Argentines’ real strengths.

“They are big, strong, physical guys and, if we don’t get things right at the set piece, they will play merry hell with us,” he said.

“Our discipline is going to be critical because tries are scored on the back of someone being offside and the kick to the corner, and then you are trying to defend their strength.”

After a first-round loss to the Chiefs, the Crusaders have strung together five successive wins.

The Jaguares have done the opposite – a victory over the Cheetahs on their Super Rugby debut has been followed by five defeats.

The run has included losses to the Blues and the Hurricanes in New Zealand over the past fortnight, when they left a core of players back home to rest.

Their starting 15 to face the Crusaders features nine changes, with hooker and Pumas skipper Agustin Creevy among those brought back in.

Blackadder wasn’t surprised by the player rotation, saying it was a reflection of how tough Super Rugby was.

“What we’ve got to do is play well and put those combinations under pressure,” he said.

“If we allow them to get physical, get over the gain line and bully us at the contact, it could be a tough night.”

The match will mark fullback Israel Dagg’s return to top rugby after a serious shoulder injury last September.

The 48-Test All Black will go in having had just 30 minutes of club rugby, but Blackadder has decided against easing him back in off the bench.

“We thought it was best to take all the anxiety away and throw him out there,” he said.

“He had a great week of training last week with us. He’s ready to go.”

Midfielder Ryan Crotty will bring up 100 Super Rugby appearances when he runs out, making him the 14th Crusader and 42nd New Zealander to reach the milestone.

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