16 Jul 2016

Christchurch farewell for Blackadder and Ellis?

12:28 pm on 16 July 2016

The vagaries of the Super rugby competition mean the Crusaders could win their final pool this evening but coach Todd Blackadder and veteran halfback Andy Ellis will have to farewell Christchurch.

Blackadder finishes up as coach at the end of the season after eight years in charge while Ellis is coming to the end of his eleventh playing season and is one of at least six players moving on at the end of the season.

Andy Ellis

Andy Ellis Photo: PHOTOSPORT

For the Crusaders to get another match at home this season they will need to win and other results to their way too but Blackadder says they are not thinking about next week's draw.

"We're just looking at this weekend for what it is and that's a really big game and there's a lot to play for against the Hurricanes..which is another big New Zealand derby, so our focus has been on that and really not looking too much into the future apart from there being so much to play for."

Blackadder announced he was stepping down earlier in the year and has been replaced by Canterbury coach Scott Robertson.

All four remaining New Zealand teams - the Crusaders, the Hurricanes, the Highlanders and the Chiefs - can finish top of the New Zealand conference.

A win for the Chiefs over the Highlanders in Dunedin will seal top spot for them and a home semi-final.

Whatever happens two of the New Zealand teams are likely to face each other in the first week of the finals, despite New Zealand sides occupying four of the top five spots in the overall standings.

Last night in Auckland the Blues wrapped up their season with a win over the New South Wales Waratahs.

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