Canberra - The inconsistent Crusaders were back to their efficient
best on Sunday as they recorded a 30-23 win over the Super Rugby-leading
Scrumhalf Andy Ellis, winger Zac
Guilford and replacement Israel Dagg grabbed the tries, while flyhalf Dan Carter
was imperious as ever with his kicking as the Crusaders forced numerous
turnovers with some tough tackling.
After disappointing losses to
the Hurricanes and the Force, the Crusaders sixth win in 10
matches this season proved a watershed moment for captain George
VIDEO: Brumbies v Crusaders, highlights
"We thought this game would be season defining and we
got there and have done the job so now after 10 rounds we get the bye
and can freshen up," the flanker said in a pitchside interview.
"We knew we had to front up tonight and get physical and I'm pretty pleased with the way the boys did it.
talked about it all week that that was going to be the winning of the
game and the guys got off the line and made some big hits and made the
tackles count tonight so that was pretty pleasing."
dominated possession and territory early on but it was the Brumbies who
produced the opening points in the seventh minute when flyhalf Matt
Toomua intercepted a pass from Carter just outside his 22 and sprinted
clear for a try.
Christian Lealiifano converted and added a
penalty before the Crusaders were able to turn their strong start into
points, Carter kicking a goal before scrumhalf Andy Ellis sprinted off
the back of a five-metre scrum to touchdown for a 21st minute try.
converted from near the touchline to tie the scores at 10-10 with some
careless knock-ons and lousy lineouts ensuring neither side added to
their total before half-time.
The Brumbies started the second half
brightly, going through the phases as they probed for another score but
good pilfering work at the breakdown helped the Crusaders force a
turnover and break for a try of their own.
space down the left to scuttle in to the corner after more hard yards
were gained by the visitors' impressive front five.
kicking stretched the lead to 23-10 with the conversion and two
penalties as Lealiifano was wayward with a penalty of his own.
Lealiifano was successful with a 67th minute kick to cut the deficit to
10 and the Brumbies were back in Crusaders territory five minutes but
another costly turnover resulted in a third try for the visitors.
fullback Dagg opted against kicking away the ball near his own tryline
and instead led a swift counter-attack past tired Brumbies forwards
which he finished off after good work by centre Robbie Fruean.
Brumbies No 8 Ben Mowen eventually found a rare hole in the Crusaders
backline to break through for a second try in the 76th minute with a
quick conversion from Toomua and a late penalty from Lealiifano ensuring
a losing bonus point.
"Our execution was off early and a team
like the Crusaders, you give them half chances and they are tries,"
skipper Mowen said. Scorers:Brumbies:
Tries: Matt Toomua
, Ben Mowen
Penalties: Lealiifano (3)Crusaders:
Tries: Andy Ellis, Zac Guildford, Israel Dagg
Conversions: Dan Carter (3)
Penalties: Carter (3)Teams:Brumbies:
15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian
Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen
(captain), 7 George Smith, 6 Fotu Auelua, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Peter Kimlin, 3
Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Substitutes: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Leon Power, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Robbie Coleman, 22 Pat McCabe.Crusaders:
15 Tom Taylor, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan
Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam
Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett
Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Dominic Bird, 19 Jordan Taufua, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Adam Whitelock, 22 Israel Dagg