Cape Town - The Crusaders were too good for the Brumbies as they claimed
a deserved 21-8 victory in their Super Rugby encounter in Canberra on Saturday.
The eight-time champions laid most of the foundations for
their victory during the first half and although the Brumbies improved during
the second period, the men from Christchurch kept them at bay.
playing with 13 men midway through the second half - after Scott Barrett and
Ryan Crotty were yellow carded - the Crusaders outscored their hosts three
tries to three.
The result is significant as it means New Zealand sides have
now won 36 consecutive matches against their counterparts from Australia with
the last Australian victory registered in Round 14 of 2016 when the Waratahs
beat the Chiefs.
The victory moves the Crusaders into top spot on the New
Zealand Conference table and the overall standings while the Brumbies are in
fourth place in the Australian Conference.
The Brumbies made the brighter start and took the lead in
the second minute when Henry Speight ran onto a pass from Joe Powell, just
outside the Crusaders' 22, before crossing for the opening try.
That score did not deter the defending champions who struck
back in style in the 17th minute when Seta Tamanivalu joined the line at pace
before delivering a brilliant pass out of the back of his hand to Tim Bateman,
who went over for their opening try.
Mike Delany added the extras to give the Crusaders a 7-5
lead before the Brumbies were dealt a blow midway through the half when Chance
Peni was sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle on Israel Dagg which also
ended the All Black's participation in the match.
Dagg was replaced by Manasa Mataele who soon made an impact
for his side when he crossed for a deserved try after gathering a pass from
Bryn Hall deep inside the Brumbies' 22.
The visitors' continued to dominate and in the 31st minute
Matt Todd made a brilliant line break before throwing a long pass to Mataele,
who stepped past three defenders before scoring his second try.
The home side seemed shellshocked but reduced the defict
courtesy of a Wharenui Hawera penalty in the 36th minute after the Crusaders
were blown up for illegal scrummaging.
That gave the Crusaders a 21-8 lead at half-time but despite
being in a good position to attack when the sides came out after the interval,
the Crusaders could not extend their lead during the early stages of the second
The next 20 minutes saw the Brumbies taking control of
proceedings as they spent most of this time camped inside their opponents'
half. The home side also received numerous penalties during this period failed
to score any points.
The Crusaders were reduced to 14 men when Barrett was yellow
carded when he took out a jumper illegaly at a lineout and three minutes later
Crotty joined him in the sin bin when he was blown up for straying offside on
defence close to his try-line.
The rest of the half was a scrappy affair as both sides
battled to gain the ascendancy but neither side managed to trouble the
scoreboard during that period.
Yellow Card: Peni
Tries: Bateman, Mataele 2
Conversions: Delany 3
Yellow Cards: Barrett, Crotty
15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Andrew Smith, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Blake Enever, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga'a, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Faalelei Sione, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Andrew Muirhead
15 David Havili, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Seta Tamanivalu, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tim Perry
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitch Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele