While Dan Carter and Aaron Cruden, wearing adidas’ brand new Predator Incurzas, were on fire with their goal-kicking during the Irish Test Series, both Crusaders’ kickers in their encounter with the ‘Canes, Tom Taylor and Tyler Bleyendaal, opted for older models.
Why they shunned the latest technology in the form of the Predator Incurzas, a boot designed specifically to aid kickers through the integrated sweet spot and precision zone, is a mystery, and may have cost the Crusaders the match.
Both Taylor and Bleyendaal missed penalty attempts in the dying stages, in a game the Crusaders should really have shut-out much earlier. The home side dominated scrums, lineouts, and the contact area, and, had they been more clinical at key moments would have established a comfortable lead.
But the Hurricanes, playing to keep their season alive, were the hungrier of the two sides, and with tenacious defence they kept in touch, giving Beauden Barrett the opportunity to win the match with a straight-forward penalty shot late in the piece.
Bleyendaal’s last shot at goal after the the siren had sounded was 54 meters on the angle, a scenario perfectly suited to the kicking-minded technology incorporated into the latest Predator Incurzas.