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
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820