Planet Rugby

Crusaders win Perth thriller

30th April 2011 11:58

Share:

guildford crusaders v force

Action-packed: The Crusaders and Force put on quite a show in Perth

The Crusaders scored two tries in the final ten minutes of a riveting match to see off a determined Force outfit 42-30 in Perth on Saturday.

Seven tries were scored in all, with the visitors bagging five of those, in a free-flowing spectacle that never once let up from start to finish.

Twice the Force led the seven-time Super Rugby champs, after it seemed the hosts were dead and buried following two tries inside the opening seven minutes to Crusaders full-back Israel Dagg.

But once again the flawless boot of Force centre James O'Connor - he kicked five penalties - kept his team in with a shout, and when Cameron Shepherd went over for the first of his brace, the Crusaders knew they had a game on their hands.

However Todd Blackadders' men, just like they always do, replied in typical fashion with two quickfire tries to hooker Corey Flynn and scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i with the clock winding down to win the match and deny the Force a single point for their efforts.

The visitors scored the first try just three minutes in, when Sean Maitland broke a tackle and found Dagg on his inside for an easy run in. Berquist missed the conversion, but his second was made much easier by Dagg who beat several tackles to score his second try shortly after.

O'Connor chipped away at the Crusaders' lead with three penalty goals. And the Force soon took the lead after a brilliant counter-attack sparked by David Smith saw the ball passed several times before being worked to Shepherd for one of the tries of the season.

But the hosts' lead was short-lived as Dagg broke through once again and found Sonny Bill Williams on his inside for a superb reply under the posts. The Force weren't done yet, however, and another O'Connor penalty cut the half-time margin to three (22-19).

The Kiwis doubled their three-point lead early in the second half courtesy of a Berquist penalty, but the game turned when Crusaders skipper Richie McCaw was sent off for for repeated infringements in the 47th minute.

The Force piled on 11 points during his ten-minute absence, including Shepherd's second try, to lead 30-25 and an upset loomed.

Another Berquist penalty closed the gap, before the Crusaders stormed home in the dying minutes with a 71st-minute try by Flynn, and the sealer through Fotuali'i in the 75th minute.

The scorers:

For Force:
Tries: Shepherd 2
Con: O'Connor
Pens: O'Connor 5, Ripia

For Crusaders:
Tries: Dagg 2, Williams, Flynn, Fotuali'i
Cons: Berquist 4
Pens: Berquist 3

Western Force: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Patrick Dellit, 12 James O'Connor, 11 David Smith, 10 Willie Ripia, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Richard Brown, 5 Nathan Sharpe (c), 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Matt Dunning, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Kieran Longbottom, 18 Matt Hodgson, 19 Tevita Metuisela, 20 James Stannard, 21 Rory Sidey, 22 Alfie Mafi.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Matt Berquist, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Richie McCaw (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Chris Jack, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Owen Franks, 18 Joe Wheeler / Reuben Thorne, 19 Jonathan Poff, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tom Marshall, 22 Adam Whitelock.

Referee: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
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
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
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
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls 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
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058