Planet Rugby

Crusaders back on track

20th April 2013 10:25

Share:

maa nonu crusaders v highlanders

Highlanders: Remain winless in 2013

The Crusaders inflicted more pain on the hapless Highlanders after the visitors were beaten 24-8 in Christchurch - their eighth loss on the trot this season.

It was one-way traffic from start to finish and the home side never trailed as they bounced back from last week's shock defeat to the Force with a well-earned win played in difficult conditions.

It was the same old story for Jamie Joseph's side as they dished out another performance which will leave their coach aging at an alarming rate.

The win left the Crusaders with a 4-4 record midway through the regular season, to sit third in the New Zealand conference and ahead of only the Hurricanes and Highlanders.

The luckless Highlanders, wrecked by injuries, were also undone by a debilitating weakness at set-pieces. Their line-out was wretched and their scrum uncompetitive, allowing the Crusaders to build territorial advantage.

The Crusaders' game, however, was dull and directionless with flawed back play and tactical choices lacking in intuition.

They scored tries to centre Robbie Fruean late in the first half and replacement back Tom Taylor late in the second - separated by 36 minutes in which they attacked ineffectively. Both tries were awarded by the TMO - and both were dubious as no grounding could be seen.

Fruean scored immediately before half-time, providing a small reward for the Crusaders' relentless attack through the first 40 minutes. Fly-half Tyler Bleyendaal also kicked three penalties, giving the home side a 16-0 lead at the break.

The Highlanders began to win a sliver of possession at the start of the second spell and soon scored a try through centre Jason Emery. But Bleyendaal took the Crusaders further ahead with his first penalty, and Taylor scored the decisive try four minutes from full-time.

The scorers:

For Crusaders:
Tries: Fruean, Taylor
Con: Bleyendaal
Pens: Bleyendaal 4

For Highlanders:
Try: Emery
Pen: Slade

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock (c), 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Dominic Bird, 19 Jordan Taufua, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tom Taylor, 22 Adam Whitelock.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Tony Ensor, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 TJ Ioane, 7 John Hardie, 6 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Chris King, 2 Andrew Hore (capt), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: Liam Coltman, 17 Ma'afu Fia, 18 Jamie Mackintosh, 19 Elliot Dixon, 20 Fumiaka Tanaka, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Jake Paringatai.

Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs EdinburghGlasgow vs Edinburgh Preview
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs HarlequinsNorthampton vs Harlequins Preview
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs WaratahsBlues vs Waratahs Preview
Brumbies vs ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Preview
Sharks vs HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Preview
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058