Crusaders in cruise control

2011-03-19 08:37

Dunedin - The Crusaders ran rampant with five second half tries to storm to a 44-13 victory over the Highlanders in a Super rugby match in Dunedin on Saturday.

The Highlanders were left ruing some poor penalty kicking after holding their own in a tight first 40 minutes before tries from Kieran Read, Kahn Fotuali'i, Wyatt Crockett and a brace from Israel Dagg put them firmly in their place.

Crusaders centre Robbie Fruean scored the only try before the break and flyhalf Dan Carter chipped in with two penalties and three conversions before giving way to Matt Berquist, who added another conversion.

"We could well have been down 15 points had a few of their kicks gone over," said Crusaders flanker Matt Todd.

"We knew we had to build pressure and be effective and couldn't just pitch up there and be lazy. At times it could have been better but I think we did a pretty good job."

The Highlanders, who won their first three matches of the season, lacked penetration in attack and 36-year-old former All Black flyhalf Tony Brown landed just two of five penalty attempts before being replaced by Robbie Robinson.

Robinson missed his one penalty attempt but did get on the scoreboard when he converted impressive flanker Adam Thomson's late consolation try, which at least gave the bumper 20,000 Carisbrook crowd something to cheer about.

"It's very disappointing to play like that in front of crowd like this," said Highlanders captain Jimmy Cowan. "We struggled to get to the gainline game tonight and we were a bit slow to the punch at the breakdown too."

The seven-times champions Crusaders have now won their last three matches impressively and head to London for next week's encounter against South Africa's Sharks.

The match will be played at Twickenham to boost finances and raise money for victims of the Christchurch earthquake, which has forced the Crusaders to play home matches away from their Lancaster Park base.

"It's going to be a total experience," said captain Kieran Read. "Something new. Got to rest up and get the travels out of the way and look forward to an awesome game next week."


Highlanders: Try: Adam Thomson. Conversion: Robbie Robinson. Penalties: Tony Brown (2)

Crusaders: Tries: Robbie Fruean, Kieran Read, Israel Dagg (2), Kahn Fotuali'i, Wyatt Crockett. Conversions: Dan Carter (3). Matt Berquist. Penalties: Carter (2).

Referee: Marius Jonker (RSA)


  • rugby_guru - 2011-03-19 09:01

    power team, bulls going to get eaten by them, sharks only chance to tame this side...

      RJ - 2011-03-19 10:12

      If the Sharks can't score a try against the chiefs in Hamilton their is no way in hell, they will beat the Crusaders in England. The Stormers will give them hell...Saders and Sardines

      ChumScrubber - 2011-03-19 15:03

      RJ - did you perhaps not watch the Hamilton game? Try scoring in that weather would not be easy for any team. Big test coming up - a bonus for the Sharks they get to play the Saders in neutral territory. This will be a good test to really compare the teams - hope the Sharks pull it off. Oh, and lets talk after tonights game - never wise to shout your mouth off, it can end up embarrassing.

      GraemeBB - 2011-03-19 16:58

      ChumScrubber - Sharks still lost that game, and should have bagged it. I agree, the conditions was poor, but I thought they were the better team, and only made life a bit more difficult for themselves. As for RJ, the Stormers will no way in hell take the Sharks, nor Saders boet. Lets focus on tonights game, the other two giants of SA rugby needs to wake up - now!

  • rockster666 - 2011-03-19 21:47

    imagine what damage this Crusader outfit could cause to any team if they decided to play a full eighty minutes of rugby. A very scary thought. The sharks or any SA team got no show against the 7 time champs. Crusaders it is.

      Claude - 2011-03-19 22:03

      Dagse Rockster . Ek bly in Christchurch . Ongelooflik om te sien hoe gemotiveerd hierdie Crusader span is na al die drama wat ons hier beleef het . Geen , maar GEEN tuis wedstryd is vir hulle beskore nie!! Hulle moet of Nelson of Timaru of Twikenham toe ry/vlieg om daar hulle sogenaamde "tuis wedstryde" te gaan speel. Dit ontspoor hulle geensins. Dit is beslis die span om dop te hou hierdie jaar!! Ek wil nie sien wat gaan gebeur as Richie McCaw nog gaan begin speel nie. Hy alleen is drie spelers werd. Groete aan almal daar in SA en Stormers Bo!!!

      rockster666 - 2011-03-19 22:58

      Claude yes it is so sad what happens to you guys down there in Chch hope all is well.

      Crusader Man - 2011-03-19 23:54

      They will only get better i am imagining.. Some of the players are starting to show improvements in the last two weeks.. Dagg, Reid, Ellis.. etc... Its going to be a really challenging year with having to travel for everygame.. Scary thing for you other teams is that once they have a good lead they are resting top players.. Dont see any other teams rest their key players during games.. Crusaders all the way i am picking...

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