Blackadder backs Mo’unga to return to form

Date published: March 28 2016

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 26: Richie Mo’unga of the BNZ Crusaders during the Super Rugby match between Cell C Sharks and BNZ Crusaders at Growthpoint Kings Park on March 26, 2016 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder is backing his fly-half, Richie Mo'unga, to bounce back after he had an off day with the boot in their win over the Sharks.

Mo'unga missed three penalties and a conversion in the seven-time champions' narrow 19-14 victory in Durban. But although Blackadder said the 21-year-old's goalkicking display was a concern, he doesn't think it will be an ongoing problem.

"No excuses there," Blackadder told Fairfax Media.

"He just had one of those nights where things weren't quite working. He will probably recalibrate and be back again next week.

"There's certainly a little bit of concern there because we left a lot of points out there on the park, which he will be pretty disappointed about. 

"We probably dodged a bullet on that behalf. It would have been disappointing to have lost a game because we couldn't execute and turn all that possession and pressure into points."

Blackadder hinted that he would retain Mo'unga for their clash with the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.

"It doesn't mean he isn't capable," he added.

"Richie is a guy who works really hard on his goalkicking. He will be back on doubt about that.

"I would probably stick with him. And also, too, everyone is entitled to have one of those moments where they don't have a great night. It's important the other guys step-up and Nemani (Nadolo) did that."

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