Crusaders coach Scott Robertson was full of praise for the resurgent Blues after his side’s 24-22 win at Eden Park though he couldn’t resist a parting shot at his old rivals after they let another promising local talent head south.
Robertson, who has coached the Crusaders to back-to-back Super titles, told media he was impressed with the Blues and his old assistant despite the Auckland franchise losing yet another Kiwi derby.
“You’ve got to hand it to the Blues, there was a lot more detail to their game, I was really impressed with them,” he said.
“The right people in the right places, you could see their clear game structure probably more than other years to be fair.
“The quality of players, you need a good scrum and they’ve got a good scrum and we have too, they’re two good sides going at it.”
Robertson also had sympathy for Blues youngster Harry Plummer after he missed two late kicks, a conversion that would have levelled the scores and then a penalty which would have put the hosts ahead.
“You feel for Harry, young fella, debut? Miss a couple, that’s tough.”
It wasn’t all praise though between the two old rivals, with Robertson taking a shot at the Blues over Crusaders centre Braydon Ennor, who starred in the midfield.
Ennor will go down as another talent the Blues let slip after going to school at St Kent’s and playing in the Blues’ under-18 sides.
“Braydon Ennor, incredible isn’t he, great speed, very mature for a young man, good player…out of St Kent’s,” a smiling Robertson told media.
“Thought I’d chuck it in there.”
Digs aside, Robertson was particularly complimentary about the work of Blues’ forwards coach Tom Coventry.
“They were brutal around the breakdown, Tom Coventry has done a great job, look they’re holding there, they’re cleaning round the corners, a metre beside the ball and you’re gone, cleaned out,” he said.
“So very Chiefs-like, that’s the detail I was talking about, that extra edge they’ve got.”