Planet Rugby



Crusaders ready for Cooper's tricks

18th July 2013 21:43


Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder believes that his side are ready to contain Reds' fly-half Quade Cooper ahead of Saturday's playoff.

Cooper, who was part of the half-back combination in 2011 with Will Genia that took the Reds to the Super Rugby title, has made more offloads in the league this year than any other player.

Excluded from the Wallabies squad for the British and Irish Lions Series, Cooper's reputation has taken a hit in recent months, but Blackadder is conscious of the playmaker's unpredictability.

"He tries to get his guys over the advantage line but he's a very unpredictable player and that's what makes him so threatening," said Blackadder to Fairfax Media.

"He's a bit like (Chiefs first-five) Aaron Cruden ... You can't cover every single base but expect him to have a go.

"If you try contestable kicks it's got to be ball-and-all tackles. We are just going to try and implement our game and if you break through that first line he has to make those tackles anyway."

Cooper earlier this week spoke about the hostile reception he expects this weekend in Christchurch, citing it as part of the territory and part and parcel f the sport.

"I expect that every week. Nothing changes. We just played down in NSW and I take it I'm not the most favourable bloke down there either," said Cooper earlier this week.

"It is what it is and that's part and parcel of rugby and rivalries in rugby. We've got a great rivalry with the Crusaders as a team. We played them in 2011 and managed to get the win. I'm sure that will add to the occasion."

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