10 Oct 2008

Thorn's impact huge for confident Tasman: Blackadder

10:37 am on 10 October 2008

Tasman's rugby coach Todd Blackadder says his side's full of confidence going into tonight's opening match of the Air New Zealand Cup quarter-finals against Canterbury in Christchurch.

At his own request, the All Black lock Brad Thorn will pull on the Tasman jersey tonight, and Blackadder says his presence has given the side a huge lift.

Blackadder feels the Makos have earned their place in the play-offs after playing consistently well during the regular season, and his players have no fear of Canterbury.

The former All Black, Canterbury and Crusaders captain says there's no feeling in the team that it's the little sibling in the Super 14 franchise taking on the big brother.

Blackadder says in the first few years of Tasman's existence there were a few Canterbury players who moved north for the opportunity of game time but now the squad's mostly Marlborough and Nelson players.

The coach says they see themselves as having their own identity and Tasman go into the match with nothing to lose.