Monday, March 14, 2011
There were two outstanding try savers of note this weekend around the world of rugby. One of them took place in the England vs Scotland game, and the other was this beauty by up and coming Crusaders centre, Robbie Fruean.
The Crusaders beat the Brumbies 52-10 in a Super Rugby rout at Nelson's Trafalgar Park on Friday night, and while Sean Maitland scored four tries for the Christchurch side, it was this moment that stood out in the memory for not only the fans, but coach Todd Blackadder too.
"For me, that was the highlight of the match, just to see the determination that he showed that was all about attitude," said Blackadder. "If the Brumbies had scored a try then, it would have been meaningless because the result was safe, yet he still got back there to make it."
Blessed with midfield talent to pick from, the combination of Sonny Bill Williams and Robbie Fruean is one that should strike fear into even the staunchest of oppositions. Their size, offloading ability, and awareness allow the outside backs to run riot, as Maitland testified to.
"You can see the problems they are causing opposition defences," Maitland said. "It creates huge opportunities for blokes like me. I need to be there when they make line breaks, on their shoulder sniffing out opportunities."
As for Fruean, Blackadder says that he is being managed better this season, which has led to three 80 minute performances as a result. He rates the young man extremely highly.
"He is showing plenty of hunger and aerobically he is probably one of the most explosive and physical players in New Zealand. I also think he is really enjoying his partnership with Sonny and you can see that."
We should take bets on how long it will be before he earns an All Black cap. My money is on it happening before Rugby World Cup kickoff. The guy has it all, and has actually been overshadowed somewhat by the arrival of Sonny Bill Williams. They're working well together though, making the Crusaders even more powerful than we've known them in the past.
The other great trysaver from this weekend, Chris Paterson's on Ben Foden, will be posted soon.
Robbie Fruean's slingshot tackle against North Harbour
Canterbury into ITM Cup final after action packed semi with Wellington