All Blacks appoint Crusaders' Jason Ryan as assistant coach

Forwards coach John Plumtree and attacking coach Brad Mooar have been cut from their roles following the reshuffle, according to a statement released from the All Blacks today.

The All Blacks have appointed Crusaders' Jason Ryan as their new forwards coach.

The Crusaders have set the benchmark in terms of consistent performances from their All Black-laden pack and Ryan's six years at the side resulted in six Super Rugby titles.

Pumas loose forward Pablo Matera won't return to Crusaders in 2023

Head coach Scott Robertson confirmed so shortly after the weary red and blacks arrived to “Crusaders” chants at the Christchurch airport on Sunday morning.

Robertson had hoped the hard-nosed Puma would be back for a second season, but the 28-year-old is set to announce his latest destination in the coming days.

“No. He’s not [back]. It’s very sad. We’d loved to have kept him, but it hasn’t worked out that way. He’s decided to take another opportunity,” Robertson said.

Crusaders defeat Blues to claim Super Rugby Pacific championship

Leading 13-0 at half-time, the Crusaders never allowed the Blues within striking distance in the second half, denying the home side any real chance of coming back into the contest.

The Crusaders were the first to create scoring opportunities, with two close calls in the Blues' right hand corner.

Richie Mo'unga opened the scoring for the visitors with a tidy drop goal while the referee played a penalty advantage.

Handling errors from both sides ensued, as a combination of weather and final nerves made for scrappy rugby.

Super Rugby Pacific final revives rivalry

The sold-out sign was already up as the high-flying Blues got set to welcome long-time foes the Crusaders north to Eden Park.

It came 24 years on from the dramatic 1998 final, where a late try earned the Crusaders their maiden title.

A red and black man through and through until moving north three years ago, Blues coach Leon MacDonald expected the 2022 final to play out in similar fashion.

"It's going to be a lot like that.

Crusaders' bonus as judiciary clears Pablo Matera for Super Rugby final

The Argentinian international’s case went in front of the Sanzaar judicial committee on Tuesday night after his two offences in the win against the Chiefs in Christchurch last Friday night, and he came away with a major victory.

The judiciary ruled he would face no further sanction for his accumulated sin-binnings after it was determined that there was “no pattern of concern”.

Blues won't retreat into their shells against the Crusaders says Barrett

The Crusaders will be searching for a sixth title in six years after three straight Super Rugby titles followed by two domestic ones in 2020 and 2021, however this will be just the second time under Robertson they contest a final away from home.

Their first championship under Robertson was perhaps their most unlikely, upsetting the Lions at Ellis Park in Johannesburg 25-17 for a famous away win. They will have to repeat that feat again as they will likely be priced as slight underdogs in a final for the first time since then.

Superb defence key as Crusaders charge into Super Rugby Pacific final

With no points scored in the second half, Crusaders number eight Cullen Grace grabbed a decisive brace of first-half tries and Richie Mo'unga gave a masterclass at flyhalf on a drizzly night at Orangetheory Stadium.

However, it was gut-busting defending after the interval to stifle a relentless Chiefs attack that ensured Scott Robertson's team extended their perfect record in home playoffs to 27 wins.

Major blow for All Blacks before season even kicks off

Blackadder suffered the injury in the Crusaders Super Rugby Pacific quarterfinal win over the Queensland Reds last Friday.

Scans show Blackadder, who has played nine tests, now needs surgery and the Crusaders have confirmed he won't return to the field until next year meaning he will miss the entire All Black season.

"We really feel for Ethan, who has been in incredible form and is such a hardworking and well-respected member of this team," said Crusaders coach Scott Robertson.

Semi-finalists set for Super Rugby Pacific

The Auckland based side kept the Highlanders try-less in their dominant 35-6 quarter-final win at Eden Park last night.

A red card to Highlanders hooker Andrew Makileo put his side on the back foot from the 22nd minute, but the Southerners were still in the contest at half-time, trailing 14-6.

The Blues outshone the valiant Highlanders in the second half, running in three tries to close out the contest.

Beauden Barrett finished with a brace, while Akira Ioane, AJ Lam and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck all crossed the line for tries of their own.

Crusaders optimistic Sevu Reece will play Reds in Super Rugby Pacific playoff

Wing Reece was forced to retire in the ninth minute of last Friday's match against the Reds, won 28-15 by the Crusaders in Christchurch, because he required a head injury assessment and needed to be replaced by fellow All Black George Bridge.

The re-match against the Reds, who have remained in Christchurch to prepare for the sudden-death fixture, will again be staged at Orangetheory Stadium and the early indications are that Reece will be available to line-up on the right wing.