Planet Rugby

Crusaders win in Christchurch

24th March 2012 05:51

Share:

Robbie Freuan scoring for Crusaders at new stadium

Going over: Robbie Freuan

Israel Dagg's try saved the Crusaders' blushes as they beat the Cheetahs 28-21 in their Christchurch Stadium bow.

It was far from vintage rugby from the Super Rugby giants as they struggled at times against the fearless Bloemfontein outfit on Saturday.

The homecoming fixture was played in front of a sell-out crowd of 17,500, as Todd Blackadder's side outscored the Cheetahs three tries to two to open their new fortress with only their second win of the season from their four previous outings.

The Cheetahs cut down the Crusaders 15-point lead early in the second-half to be on level terms at 21-21 with 10 minutes remaining in the game.

But as the clock counted down the Crusaders moved up a gear and Andy Ellis and Tom Taylor both went within a whisker of scoring before full-back Dagg crossed for the match-winning score.

A critical factor for the Crusaders was their pack, with an All Blacks front-row of hooker Corey Flynn and props Owen and Ben Franks who gave the Cheetahs a torrid time in the scrums early on.

It was from a scrum penalty just before half-time that led to the first try in the new stadium when Sean Maitland scored in the corner. Until then it had been an uninspiring encounter with two penalties to Taylor and one by Johan Goosen the only points on the board.

But that try lifted the intensity of the game with the Crusaders going into half-time with an 11-3 lead which was extended to 18-3 immediately after the break when Dan Carter emerged.

With his first touch of the ball in a game since being injured out of the World Cup six months ago, Carter neatly put Robbie Fruean into a gap and the big centre scored near the posts.

Taylor converted the extras and with their tails up the Crusaders immediately stormed deep into Cheetahs' territory only to cough up possession to the free-running South Africans.

From turnover ball on their own line the Cheetahs swept the length of the field with Goosen, Andries Strauss and Willie le Roux featuring in the move before Goosen crossed wide out.

Another exchange of penalties between Goosen and Taylor had the Crusaders leading 21-11 when the Cheetahs were rewarded for a patient build up with a try by Robert Ebersohn.

Goosen missed the conversion but evened the score with his third penalty of the spectacle.

But the hosts then mounted a wave of forward drives up to the Cheetahs line, drawing in the defence before Ellis sent the ball to Dagg to cross unopposed for the match-winning try.

The scorers:

For Crusaders:
Tries: Maitland, Freuan, Dagg
Con: Taylor 2
Pen: Taylor 3

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Goosen, R Ebersohn
Con: Goosen
Pen: Goosen 3

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Luke Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ross Kennedy, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Dan Carter, 22 Tom Marshall.

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Cameron Jacobs, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 George Earle, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Andries Ferreira, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Ryno Benjamin.

Referee: Keith Brown (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs CrusadersWaratahs vs Crusaders Preview
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00