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Ethan Blackadder returns for Crusaders to play the Blues

By Ben Smith
Ethan Blackadder of the Crusaders. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The Crusaders have been boosted by the return of All Black loose forward Ethan Blackadder to play the Blues at home this weekend.

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After losing 26-6 earlier in the season, the Crusaders will be looking to finish their season on a high with a win over their biggest rivals.

The Blues haven’t had back-to-back wins against the Crusaders in Super Rugby since 2004, but did register a breakthrough win in Christchurch during the 2022 season.

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Team Form

Last 5 Games

2
Wins
4
2
Streak
4
22
Tries Scored
24
20
Points Difference
88
2/5
First Try
4/5
0/5
First Points
5/5
1/5
Race To 10 Points
5/5

Blackadder has been in and out of the side battling injury niggles, but makes a timely return in the No 7 jersey. Along side him will be Cullen Grace at blindside and powerful ball carrier Christian Lio-Willie at No 8.

The Crusaders will field an All Black front row, with captain Codie Taylor packing down at hooker with props Joe Moody and Fletcher Moody. Two All Black props wait in the wings with George Bower and Tamaiti Williams named on the bench.

In Scott Barrett’s absence, lock Antonio Shalfoon will have his second start alongside Quinten Strange while Jamie Hannah deputises.

After welcoming back Fergus Burke from a long-term injury, the UK-bound playmaker will start at first five in the halves with halfback Noah Hotham. Veteran Mitch Drummond and young Taha Kemara will back them up.

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David Havili returns to his familiar role at second five-eighth alongside the workhorse Levi Aumua who returns from injury.

Standout performer Sevu Reece is named on the left wing, goal-kicking ace Chay Fihaki is on the right and ex-Welsh international Johnny McNicholl slots in at fullback. All Black Dallas McLeod is the utility back cover.

Fixture
Super Rugby Pacific
Crusaders
29 - 27
Full-time
Blues
All Stats and Data

Crusaders team to play the Blues:

1. Joe Moody
2. Codie Taylor (c)
3. Fletcher Newell
4. Antonio Shalfoon
5. Quinten Strange
6. Cullen Grace
7. Ethan Blackadder
8. Christian Lio-Willie
9. Noah Hotham
10. Fergus Burke
11. Sevu Reece
12. David Havili
13. Levi Aumua
14. Chay Fihaki
15. Johnny McNicholl

Reserves

16. George Bell
17. George Bower
18. Tamaiti Williams
19. Jamie Hannah
20. Tom Christie
21. Mitchell Drummond
22. Taha Kemara
23. Dallas McLeod

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Comments

2 Comments
D
David 32 days ago

Blackadder goes forth - well he’s selected but whether he makes it to the game is another thing.

L
Liam 32 days ago

Fletcher Newell is his name

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