Planet Rugby

Crusaders too good for Brumbies

03rd May 2014 07:17

Share:

crusaders brumbies

Running hot: Crusaders

Colin Slade kicked 23 points as the Crusaders ran three tries past an ill-disciplined Brumbies outfit to win 40-20 in Christchurch.

This was another feather in the cap for Todd Blackadder's side, whose recent form makes them one of the best sides in the whole competition.

Poorly disciplined and outmuscled in the contact area, the Brumbies were always chasing this one and lacked the clinical edge required in the second half to get back into the game.

The Brumbies' decimation of the Chiefs last weekend in Canberra understandably handed them a big confidence boost, but they were too lackadaisical in Christchurch early on.

On the other hand the Crusaders have built quietly this season after a shocking start, but their own 18-17 victory over the Chiefs a couple of weeks ago confirmed their revival.

First-half physicality was key to the Crusaders building up their 22-6 lead by the break.

The home team were better in the contact area, bossed the breakdown and prevented the Brumbies from running the ball through a territorial kicking game from Andy Ellis and Colin Slade that worked well.

Penalties were frequent in the opening half, with even Richie McCaw being picked up for a ruck offence by referee Glen Jackson. McCaw turned in an eyecatching performance by making the most tackles for his side and playing a full 80.

Slade's kicking off the tee was perfect in the first 40 minutes as his side lead 15-6 a couple of minutes before the interval, when Johnny McNicholl struck.

Patient build-up around the Brumbies' 22 ended with a pass from Sam Whitelock out wide to McNicholl, who jinked his way inside and drove over low for the try.

The Brumbies just had to respond and they looked like a different team in the beginning of the second half with Stephen Moore's try - the Wallaby hooker stepping his way over from close range after his team upped the ante.

It was a handy reminder for the Crusaders that the job wasn't done. Slade added his sixth penalty following a collapsed scrum on the edge of the 22.

A stroke of luck helped their cause. The Brumbies were pressed back inside their half and when forced to kick, through Toomua, there was a classic Superman dive from Sam Whitelock to charge down the ball, Nemani Nadolo scooping up and running home to score.

The Brumbies penalty count was killing their chances, reaching ten by the 58-minute mark, but Slade spared them further punishment with a missed penalty.

He didn't have to wait long for another chance as Sam Carter went offside; Slade landing his seventh of the night.

Facing a 20-point deficit the Brumbies had to hit back, but it was slow going. Their driving maul threatened but the final pass or surge was always missing.

There was at least a numerical advantage for them to enjoy when Luke Romano was sent to the bin within minutes of coming on.

Maintaining that level of physicality for such a long period of time was no easy process, but the Crusaders were unrelenting.

Their reward came in the form of their third try, a show of footballing skill from Luke Whitelock who dribbled the ball and flopped on it in the corner. It was appropriate after Whitelock had stolen the Brumbies lineout beforehand to set up the attack.

Pat McCabe picked up a consolation score by cutting back through a gaping hole next to Nepo Laulala to add a bit more respectability to the scoreboard, but the contest was long over. This marked another milestone on the Crusaders' road to not just recovery, but also the playoffs.

The scorers:

For Crusaders:
Tries: McNicholl, Nadolo, L.Whitelock
Cons: Slade, Heinz
Pens: Slade 7
Yellow Card: Romano

For Brumbies:
Tries: Moore, McCabe
Cons: Lealiifano, Toomua
Pens: White 2

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Richie McCaw, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Tom Taylor, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Jordan Smiler, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Ruaidhri Murphy, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Tom McVerry, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Pat McCabe.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Ben O'Keefe (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs AustraliaBarbarians vs Australia Preview
USA vs New ZealandUSA vs New Zealand Preview
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Preview
Glasgow vs Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Ospreys vs ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Preview
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs MunsterCardiff Blues vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsUlster vs Newport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615