Crusaders keep home streak alive, power past Highlanders

    2019-04-12 11:18

    Cape Town - The Crusaders came from behind in an emphatic second half to beat the Highlanders 43-17 and maintain their unbeaten run at home in Super Rugby on Friday.

    As it happened: Crusaders v Highlanders

    The defending champions have now gone 24 consecutive matches, dating back to 2016, without defeat at their Christchurch fortress. 

    The Highlanders didn't make it easy for them and, like the Brumbies last week, they were leading the Crusaders at half-time. 

    But the second half was one-way traffic in the New Zealand derby, with a David Havili try one minute after the restart igniting a five-try blitz.

    "Playing at home is very special and a battle against the neighbours is always a tough one," said captain Sam Whitelock.

    "They came out and put us under pressure. They were beating us around the corner, beating us to the breakdown and it took us a while to adjust to that."

    The Highlanders arrived in Christchurch a desperate side having won their first two matches then losing the next four, and with their scheduled home match against the Crusaders cancelled due to the terrorist attacks in Christchurch.

    They were also keen to honour their talismanic skipper Ben Smith who was playing his milestone 150th Super Rugby match. 

    It was Smith who set the game alight in the second minute when he stepped his way through a wall of defenders to score and give the Highlanders an early lead. 

    Although the Crusaders were making all the play, the Highlanders extended their advantage in the 10th minute on their second foray into Crusaders territory with a Josh Ioane penalty. 

    The Crusaders dominated possession and territory but let themselves down with handling errors and missed tackles. 

    But when they eliminated the mistakes, the points came. 

    Richie Mo'unga exposed a huge defensive hole to put Braydon Ennor away for the Crusaders' first try and they trailed 10-7 at the break. 

    Once Havili put the Crusaders in front at the start of the second half, they followed up with a Mo'unga penalty, then used their forward power to win a penalty try, and added further tries to Sevu Reece, Mitch Drummond and Will Jordan. 

    Ioane latched on to a Folau Fakatava chip-kick to give the Highlanders late points.

    The Crusaders picked up a full-house of five points for their victory and stretched their lead atop both the New Zealand Conference and the Overall log.

    The Highlanders left empty-handed and remained fourth and 12th in the NZ Conference and Overall standings, respectively.

    In next weekend's Round 10 action, the Crusaders have the Easter weekend off, while the Highlanders welcome the Blues to Dunedin (Saturday, April 20 at 09:35 SA time).



    Tries: Braydon Ennor, David Havili, Penalty try, Sevu Reece, Mitchell Drummond, Will Jordan

    Conversions: Richie Mo'unga (3), Mitch Hunt

    Penalty: Mo'unga


    Tries: Ben Smith, Josh Ioane

    Conversions: Ioane, Bryn Gatland

    Penalty: Ioane



    15 David Havili, 14 Braydon Ennor, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Sevu Reece, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Joe Moody

    Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Harry Allan, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Will Jordan


    15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown

    Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Ayden Johnstone, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Jackson Hemopo, 21 Folau Fakatava, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Sio Tomkinson

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Breaking News


    Friday, 26 April 2019
    • Crusaders v Lions, AMI Stadium 09:35
    • Sunwolves v Highlanders, Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium 12:00
    Saturday, 27 April 2019
    • Hurricanes v Chiefs, Westpac Stadium 09:35
    • Waratahs v Sharks, Allianz Stadium 11:45
    • Stormers v Bulls, Cape Town 15:05
    • Jaguares v Brumbies, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 23:40
    Friday, 03 May 2019
    • Crusaders v Sharks, AMI Stadium 09:35
    • Reds v Sunwolves, Suncorp Stadium 11:45


    20 April 2019
    19 April 2019
    13 April 2019
    12 April 2019
    06 April 2019
    05 April 2019
    30 March 2019
    29 March 2019
    24 March 2019
    23 March 2019
    22 March 2019
    16 March 2019
    15 March 2019
    09 March 2019
    08 March 2019
    02 March 2019
    01 March 2019
    23 February 2019
    22 February 2019
    16 February 2019
    15 February 2019


    Rank Team P W Pts
    • Bulls (Q)
    • Lions (wc)
    • Sharks (wc)
    • Jaguares
    • Stormers

    Opinion Poll

    Which of the 4 South African team will finish with the fewest Super Rugby SA Conference points?

    Can you name the top Super Rugby tryscorers of all-time?

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.