Planet Rugby

Crusaders limp past spirited Rebels

28th April 2013 06:49

Share:

The Crusaders were made to sweat for their four points on Sunday as the Rebels battled hard before losing 30-26 at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

It was expected that the New Zealanders would steamroll their opponents, however the Rebels proved that last year's home win was no fluke.

Battling for every scrap of possession and also being impressive in attack through the likes of Jason Woodward, James O'Connor and Scott Higginbotham, the Rebels pushed the hosts all the way but ultimately came up just short.

Tries for the hosts arrived via Zac Guildford - his first since returning from off-field issues - and Tyler Bleyendaal while the Rebels responded through number eight Higginbotham, fly-half O'Connor and hooker Ged Robinson.

Despite their superiority in the try department though, the Rebels were beaten by the boot of Tom Taylor, who kicked 20 points in the game.

The Crusaders opened the scoring in the fourth minute when they broke out from a Rebels attack, with wing Guildford crossing following good drawing work from full-back Israel Dagg.

Things got better for the seven-time champions eight minutes later when fly-half Bleyendaal dummied off a set-piece to go over close to the uprights. This time Taylor was successful before O'Connor made it 12-3 with a quarter of the game played. It was fast-paced opening.

Thus began a lift in the Rebels' game as when Higginbotham powered over on the right touchline after great phase play, head coach Damien Hill would have been purring at the prospect of recording possible back-to-back victories over the New Zealand giants.

With the score now 12-8 to the Crusaders, Taylor and O'Connor traded penalties as the sides went in at the break with a scoreline of 18-11. The match was well-and-truly on.

In the opening ten minutes of the second-half at AMI Stadium the two kickers sent over a shot apiece at goal but when fly-half O'Connor crossed after another sustained period of attacking from the visitors, the Rebels were two points behind. Momentum was with them.

And their form continued soon after as hooker Robinson burrowed over from a well-worked short line-out to put the Melbourne side ahead for the first time in an entertaining match.

O'Connor's conversion made it 21-26 but the Crusaders showed calmness to claw their way to a result as, with Dan Carter and Wyatt Crockett on as replacements, they edged to victory thanks to three more penalties from Taylor that takes them seventh in the standings.

The scorers:

For Crusaders:
Tries: Guildford, Bleyendaal
Con: Taylor
Pen: Taylor 6

For Rebels:
Tries: Higginbotham, O'Connor, Robinson
Con: O'Connor
Pen: O'Connor 3

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

Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom English, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Jarrod Saffy, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Luke Jones, 19 Gareth Delve, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Angus Roberts, 22 Lachlan Mitchell.

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
Television match official: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
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
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
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
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada 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
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors 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
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821