Planet Rugby

Carter keeps Crusaders in the hunt

29th June 2013 10:26

Share:

Dan Carter of the Crusaders is tackled v Highlanders

Outstanding: Dan Carter

The Crusaders kept their play-off hopes alive on Saturday with a highly-entertaining 40-12 win over the Highlanders in Dunedin.

Crusaders fly-half Dan Carter had an outstanding game, scoring 25 points which included a try after creating another.

The visitors outscored their hosts four tries to two, but all six were out of the top drawer with the Crusaders bagging the bonus point in the dying moments.

The results provisionally takes the Crusaders to fifth in the overall standings while the Highlanders are left rooted to the bottom of the table.

The Crusaders led 13-7 at the end of a closely-fought first half and the Highlanders were still in contention until Ma'a Nonu was shown a red card just before the hour mark.

A second-minute penalty from Carter opened the scoring but the Highlanders hit the front early on when Ben Smith crossed for the first try of the game thanks to an amazing offload from Tamati Ellison, who beat his man before brilliantly getting his pass away behind his back in the next tackle.

Colin Slade slotted the conversion to make it 7-3.

The Crusaders were unable to profit form a yellow card given to Jarrad Hoeata but regained the lead on the half-hour mark when Carter burst clear on a jinking solo run before offloading to George Whitelock, who crashed over.

Carter added the extras and a penalty on the stroke of half-time to give the Crusaders a six-point advantage at the interval.

The visitors extended the lead soon after the restart when Tom Marshall sliced through the Highlanders defence to set up a try for Andy Ellis. Carter's extras took the score to 20-7 which probably wasn't a fair reflection of the game, but paid testament to their ability to cash in on their chances.

A fantastic try for 100-cap man Hosea Gear, who somehow managed to avoid the touchline to find the corner, got the hosts back in contention. But those hopes were extinguished just two minutes later as Nonu was sent off for a tip tackle on Marshall.

Carter split the uprights to give the Crusaders an 11-point lead going into the final quarter but Corey Flynn threw the Highlanders a life-line when he copped a yellow card for a reckless high tackle on Aaron Smith.

Carter added a penalty to give his side some breathing room before sealing the result with a solo try thanks to a clever step inside to exploit the channel left open by Nonu's absence. The fly-half added the conversion to take the score out to 33-12.

Telusa Veainu secured the bonus point in the last minute, breaking from his own 22 - from Carter's pass - before leaving Gear for dead and sprinting home.

The scorers:

For Highlanders:
Tries: B. Smith, Gear
Cons: Slade
Yellow card: Hoeata (19th min - foul play)
Red card: Nonu (57th min - tip tackle)

For Crusaders:
Tries: G. Whitelock, Ellis, Carter, Veainu
Cons: Carter 4
Pens: Carter 4
Yellow card: Flynn

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Fumaki Tanaka, 8 Mose Tuiali'i, 7 Elliot Dixon, 6 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Andrew Hore (c), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Bronson Murray, 18 Jake Paringatai, 19 TJ Ioane, 20 Aaron Smith, 21 Liam Sopoaga, 22 Ma'a Nonu.

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

Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand). Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (New Zealand)
Television match official: Keith Brown (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Preview
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Glasgow vs UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Preview
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs BluesHurricanes vs Blues Preview
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
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
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954