Short-handed Crusaders scrappy in victory over Sunwolves
Garrin Lambley - Sport24 Editor
The Crusaders, reduced to 13 men late in the match, put in a scrappy performance in beating the Sunwolves in Brisbane on Saturday.
As it happened | Sunwolves v Crusaders
The Crusaders won 49-14 after leading 14-7 at half-time.
The Crusaders, who had replacement hooker Hugh Roach red-carded in the 67th minute followed by a yellow card shown to wing Sevu Reece minutes later, scored seven tries through flanks Tom Christie and Sione Havili, Reece (2), lock Luke Romano, centre Braydon Ennor and replacement pivot Fergus Burke. Flyhalf Brett Cameron added five conversions off the kicking tee, while Burke chipped in with two conversions of his own.
The Sunwolves, playing a 'home' match for the second weekend in a row in Australia due to the coronavirus that has swept through Japan, replied with tries by lock Ben Hyne and flyhalf Garth April, who also added both conversions.
The Crusaders picked up a full-house of five points for their victory and moved to the top of both the New Zealand Conference and the Overall log.
The Sunwolves left empty-handed and remained rock-bottom of both the Australian Conference and the Overall standings.
In next weekend's Round 8 action - should it proceed - the Crusaders host the Hurricanes in Christchurch (Friday, 20 March at 08:05), while the Sunwolves travel to Melbourne to play the Rebels (Friday, 20 March at 10:15 SA time).
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James Dargaville, 14 Siosaia Fifita,
13 Keisuke Moriya (co-captain), 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Tautalatasi Tasi, 10
Garth April, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jake Schatz (co-captain), 7 Mitch Jacobson,
6 Justin Downey, 5 Michael Stolberg, 4 Ben Hyne, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2
Efitusi Ma’afu, 1 Nic Mayhew
Substitutes: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17
Jarred Adams, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Kotaro Yatabe, 20 Brendon O’Connor,
21 Naoto Saito, 22 Shogo Nakano, 23 Yoshizumi Takeda
George Bridge, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Dallas McLeod, 11
Leicester Faingaanuku, 10 Brett Cameron, 9 Bryn Hall (captain), 8 Cullen
Grace, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Sione Havili, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Luke
Romano, 3 Oliver Jager, 2 Brodie McAlister, 1 George Bower
16 Hugh Roach, 17 Isi Tuungafasi, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19
Whetukamokamo Douglas, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Ereatara Enari, 22 Fergus
Burke, 23 Manasa Mataele