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
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London WelshSale vs London Welsh Preview
London Irish vs SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Preview
Harlequins vs WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Preview
Bath vs LeicesterBath vs Leicester Preview
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets vs Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Preview
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Sunday , September 21
Otago vs WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Preview
Wellington vs TasmanWellington vs Tasman Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Auckland 32 - 7 North Harbour
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
Connacht 10 - 9 LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Brive 13 - 53 ToulonBrive vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 29 - 15 Pumas
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter310
2Saracens29
3Bath29
4Leicester Tigers29
5Northampton26