Garrin Lambley - Sport24 Editor
Cape Town - The Crusaders have beaten the Blues to sound an ominous warning to their rivals for the 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby title.As it happened: Crusaders v Blues
The Crusaders won 21-13 after trailling 13-11 at half-time.
The Crusaders scored two tries, both by giant Fijian wing Nemani Nadolo. Flyhalf Colin Slade slotted two penalties before limping off after a mid-field collision with Blues centre Ma'a Nonu.
Dan Carter, making his first run-on start of the season, was on target with a penalty and conversion.
The Blues replied with a length-of-the-field intercept try by wing Frank Halai and a conversion and two penalties by flyhalf Ihaia West.
The Crusaders picked up four points for their victory to stretch their lead atop the New Zealand Conference. They also moved ahead of the Sharks into second place in the Overall standings.
The Blues left empty-handed to end their hopes of a playoff berth.
In next weekend's Round 19 action, the Crusaders face the Highlanders in Christchurch (Saturday, July 12 at 09:35 SA time), while the Blues and the Chiefs lock horns in Auckland (Friday, July 1 at 09:35 SA time).Teams:Crusaders
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Kieron Fonotia, 13 Ryan
Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8
Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4
Dominic Bird, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
16 Corey Flynn, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Luke
Whitelock, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Tom Taylor, 23 Johnny McNichollBlues
Lolagi Visinia, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Pita Ahki, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Charles
Piutau, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Luke Braid
(captain), 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3
Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock
Subs: 16 James
Parsons, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Sam Prattley, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20
Peter Saili, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Francis Saili, 23 George Moala