Crusaders Mid Season Injury Update & review

Crusaders Mid Season Injury Update & review

Three long-term injured Crusaders have returned to full training and are on track to be selectable for the Round 8 versus the Waratahs. They’ve been working diligently through their rehabilitation and recovery and are absolutely stoked to hit the ground running post-bye. 

Fergus Burke injured his achilles in October’s NPC quarterfinal between Canterbury and Auckland. He’s been working hard to get ahead of his rehab schedule, eager to take the field for as many minutes as possible before he hangs up his Crusaders boots and replaces them with Saracens ones. 

 Brodie McAlister dislocated his patella (knee cap) during the pre-season game versus the Highlanders in February. He’s been in full training mode recently, looking stronger than ever.  

 Ethan Blackadder is back from a calf strain, running at full tilt and ready to take names.

 These three are all set to make a huge impact when they take the field. 

 Others are making excellent progress and we expect to see them return to the field in the next few weeks, including Scott Barrett, Tamaiti Williams and Leigh Halfpenny. 


Not the ideal start 

It’s fair to say the start of the Crusaders 2024 season didn’t start as intended. We spent a lot of time on the road and faced tough opposition. We suffered injury and faltered on maximising the on-field opportunties we’ve had to turn things around.  

Of our first six rounds, we lost five and secured one win. Records tumbled, most for the wrong reasons. We owe our members and fans better and have been working hard to repay the loyalty. Cantabrians and South Islanders are renowned for their resilience and work ethic for good reason. 

We got close to a win in Round 1 versus the Chiefs, and even closer cersus the Hurricanes at home on 15 March. Small margins win matches.  

Victorious versus Chiefs 

Our result versus the Chiefs on Friday 29 March was testament to the work being put in, the hours at Rugby Park trialling strategy and walking the map ahead of a crucial game day at home. 

Five tries and much-improved on-field statistics show that hard work pays off. We were a different team out there on Friday. The shackles were off and in many ways the underdog moniker gave us the space to play with freedom and light feet. We cut through defences in ways reminiscent of the rugby we played over the last few championship-winning years. 

Whether this was the rule rather than the exception is yet to be seen, but confidence going into bye week is high. There’s still a heap of work to do but this was a step in the right direction. 

U20 dominance 

There is always talk of the pipeline of talent at the Crusaders, namely through our Crusaders Academy. It’s worth mentioning then the superb win by our young boys at the Super Rugby U20 competition in Taupo.  

 The boys faced the Chiefs in the final on Saturday 23 March, taking the title 31-17. Earlier in the competition they beat the Highlanders 40-24 and the Blues 26-22. 

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