Todd Blackadder is set to have the chance to avenge the Crusaders' Super Rugby loss to the Waratahs, according to CEO Hamish Riach.
Todd Blackadder will have the chance to avenge the Crusaders' Super Rugby final loss to the Waratahs, according to chief executive Hamish Riach.
Riach confirmed that Blackadder and his coaching staff of Dave Hewett, Tabai Matson and Aaron Mauger would be in place again next year as the Crusaders attempt to regain a Super Rugby title that they have not won since 2008.
Prior to Blackadder's arrival, the Crusaders had won seven of the 13 Super Rugby titles, but despite the fact they have now gone six years without a trophy, Riach is convinced the former All Black skipper is the man to take the side on.
And although the end-of-season review has yet to start, Riach offered his full support to the current coaching set-up.
“They combined really well and guided the team to within two minutes of the trophy – they are a great group and we look forward to them continuing again next year,” Riach told Fairfax media.
“They are good men who will dust themselves off and start learning lessons from this campaign and put plans in place for next year.”
The Crusaders needed to overcome a slow start to their campaign to reach the final in Sydney, losing three of their first five games.
But having eventually come within two minutes of victory, and having never failed to reach the semi-finals in Blackadder's six years in charge, Riach insists there are a lot of positives to be taken.
“They have worked so hard to get to that point of having their nose in front until the last couple of minutes and then to have it disappear – you can imagine their disappointment is palpable,” he added.
“Overall, right now, it is hard to get past the raw emotion of a narrow loss. It hurts like hell the week after.
“But if you take a step away from that it was great to be in the final, we are full of admiration of the way the coaches and the team turned around the slow start and played some pretty decent footy along the way.”