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Blackadder would welcome return

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder claimed Super Rugby has a future in the northern hemisphere after his side produced a dazzling performance to beat the Sharks 44-28 at Twickenham.

The Christchurch-based outfit staged the game in London after their home stadium was damaged in the earthquake that struck the city on February 22. The first Super Rugby match to be staged outside the traditional SANZAR nations was the centrepiece to a week of fundraising for the Red Cross earthquake appeal.

"There was a great crowd out there. It shows it can be done. It was for adverse reasons why the game was put on (at Twickenham) but I hope the people enjoyed Super Rugby," said Blackadder.

"There were some great skills, some great players, some real power and swings of momentum on show. I'd like to think it could happen again one day and I thought it was just superb."

Sharks coach John Plumtree disagreed, although his squad arrived in London after matches in Perth, Melbourne and Hamilton.

It would make sense in the future for any match staged in the northern hemisphere to be arranged after a bye weekend. That said, the Crusaders hardly seemed affected by the travel as they stormed into a 34-18 lead at the interval with tries from Dan Carter, Sean Maitland, Zac Guildford and Israel Dagg.

The try-bonus had been sealed within 33 minutes as Carter and the imperious Sonny Bill Williams carved the Sharks defence open with ruthless accuracy. The Sharks hit back in the second half to earn a try-bonus of their own but Maitland finished off another electric move to wrap up victory for the Crusaders.

Blackadder hailed Williams' performance and said the former rugby league international has the world at his feet.

"Sonny Bill Williams was outstanding. He was world class. He has the potential to be anything he wants to be in this game. He is sensational for our game," Blackadder said.

"He has enormous potential. He has only had five games of Super Rugby so you wonder what more he is capable of. He is certainly a class act."


From Belfast Telegraph