Crusaders run riot in Nelson
Nelson - The Crusaders beat the Brumbies 52-10 in their Vodacom Super 15 Rugby clash on Friday, with winger Sean Maitland scoring four tries and Daniel Carter kicking 20 points.
Maitland touched down once in the first half and three times in the second while Carter missed only one of nine shots at goal to ensure the Crusaders banked its second-straight win in the southern hemisphere tournament.
Sonny Bill Williams scored his second try in as many matches and his All Blacks team-mate, fullback Israel Dagg scored another as the Crusaders ran in 46 straight points after trailing 10-6 in the 20th minute.
Most of the damage was done between the 24th minute of the first half, when Maitland scored his first try to help the Crusaders to a 19-10 lead at half-time, and the 19th minute of the second when he scored his fourth to complete a 45-10 lead. Dagg's late try inflated the Crusaders' margin.
Crusaders' scrum looked shaky in the first quarter and the Brumbies caused it moments of concern, especially when Wallabies flyhalf Matt Giteau swooped on a dropped ball to score an convert a third minute try.
But Maitland's first try began the Crusaders resurgence, using aggressive defense to create turnovers and thriving on the counter attack.
Crusaders disrupted the Brumbies' set piece possession, and deprived them of fragments of possession won in other areas. From breakdown turnovers, even in deep defense, it fashioned outstanding tries which relied on enthusiastic support play and brilliant finishing paticularly from Maitland.
Crusaders captain Kieran Read said the team had learnt from the previous game when they struggled to beat the Waratahs.
"We talked about it all week and that 20 minutes after half-time really showed that we can put teams away," Read said.
"You've got to work teams out and work them over before you can put it wide so in that second half it really came off. The boys played well and I'm really stoked about the way we played tonight."
Maitland's first try came from an outstanding break by influential scrumhalf Andy Ellis which was well supported by Williams and Carter.
Maitland scored again in the first, eighth and 19th minutes of the second half and Williams scored in the third as the Crusaders piled on 26 points in less than 20 minutes.
Canterbury was as impressive in defense as attack, illustrated best in the 61st minute when center Robbie Fruean chased Brumbies' Adam Ashley-Cooper, who had broken away from an intercept, and cut him down inches from the goalline in a try-saving tackle.
"It was just turnover ball and for some reason we were just lazy really," Brumbies captain Giteau said. "We're talking a lot at the moment, we're just not acting on it so it's pretty disappointing.
"We were still pretty happy that the score was as close as it was at halftime, then in the second half we didn't have any ball and when we did we turned it over and you just can't do that."
15. Israel Dagg, 14. Sean Maitland, 13. Robert
Fruean, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 11. Adam Whitelock, 10. Dan Carter, 9.
Andy Ellis, 8. Kieran Read (captain), 7. Matt Todd, 6. George Whitelock,
5. Sam Whitelock, 4. Chris Jack, 3. Ben Franks, 2. Corey Flynn, 1.
Substitutes: 16. Quentin MacDonald, 17. Owen
Franks, 18. Brad Thorn, 19. Jonathan Poff, 20. Willi Heinz, 21. Matthew
Berquist, 22. Tom Marshall
15. Pat McCabe,
14. Henry Speight, 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12. Robbie Coleman, 11.
Francis Fainifo, 10. Matt Giteau (captain),9. Josh Valentine, 8. Ita
Vaea, 7. Colby Faingaa, 6. Mitch Chapman, 5. Mark Chisholm, 4. Ben Hand,
3. Dan Palmer, 2. Steve Moore, 1. Ben Alexander
Huia Edmonds, 17. Salesi Ma'afu, 18. Peter Kimlin, 19. Julian Salvi,
20. Patrick Phibbs, 21. Matt Toomua, 22. Christian Lealiifano