DOUBLE CAUSE FOR RUGBY CELEBRATION IN CHRISTCHURCH

The appointment of one of their favourite son’s Scott Robertson as All Blacks coach and a very good performance from a seriously depleted Crusaders side last weekend put plenty of smiles on rugby supporters faces in the Garden city last week.

Scott Robertson - In At Last

Currently head coach of the Crusaders chasing a seventh Super rugby title, Robertson will take over from Ian Foster as All Blacks head coach following the World Cup in France in September/October.

Joining us on AbsolutelyFamous is Christchurch Football club stalwart, a former coach and player at the club and a former Canterbury cricket rep Kit Chambers.

Like many. Not only was he very pleased with Robertson’s selection but was also impressed with the performances of several previously unheralded players in the injury ravaged Crusaders team including a couple of young rookies plucked at late notice out of the development squad, namely utility back Will Gaulter and lock Jamie Hannah.

IMPRESSED ON DEBUT -Lock Jamie Hannah, left, and wing Will Gualter

Despite the injury setbacks the Crusaders comfortably beat a Brumbies side which inexplicably left eight first choice players at home, by 35-17.

For many teams already injuries have had a significant impact on their squads with 20 All Blacks among the casualties and included among them being key Crusaders forwards Ethan Blackadder, veteran lock Sam Whitelock, winger Sevu Reece,  while star fullback Will Jordan is still weeks away from returning to the playing field having to deal with headache type symptoms.

INJURY CRISIS AT CRUSADERS -Ethan Blackadder, veteran lock Sam Whitelock, winger Sevu Reece added to a long list.

The Highlanders are even worse off with All Black loose-forward Shannon Frizell, lock Josh Dickson, number eight Hugh Renton and centre Josh Timu late withdrawals last week. Also unavailable injured are replacement centre Jake Te Hiwi, number eight Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, Jeff Thwaites and Andrew Makalio.

The Blues have All Blacks Patrick Tuipulotu, Akira Ioane and Roger Tuivasa Sheck out as well as prop Alex Hodgeman., the Hurricane are without halfback TJ Perenara and the Chiefs are missing injured All Blacks Angus Ta’avao, Josh Lord, Abu Moli, Quinn Tupaea, Tupou Vaa’i and Anton Lienert-Brown.

The Highlanders are hoping to have Marino Mikaele-Tu’u back this weekend.

In this weekend’s matches featuring New Zealand clubs, the Crusaders take on the Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane where the heat could well be a factor for the visitors.

The Highlanders will be hoping to continue their resurgence taking on Moana Pasifika in Auckland, while the big local derby should be an absolute belter between arch rivals the Chiefs who currently lead the points table up against the Blues in Hamilton.

Listen to John Alexander’s chat with Kit Chambers in which he gives his views on Scott Robertson’s appointment and rates how the Crusaders are travelling at present.

John will also be speaking to Chiefs star mid-fielder Alex Nankivell later this week on the eve of their block-buster clash with the Blues.

Interview & Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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