Planet Rugby

England breeze past Crusaders

17th June 2014 08:50

Share:

England caught the eye in Christchurch's AMI Stadium with a thumping 38-7 victory over the error-strewn Crusaders on Tuesday.

The visitors made a flying start, scoring an early brace through Joe Gray and Ben Foden, before Brad Barritt and Alex Goode cancelled out Matt Todd's five-pointer for the hosts with tries of their own.

And further touchdowns from Anthony Watson and Chris Pennell settled the issue in the second half with the depleted Crusaders struggling to convert their field position into points.

Blindsides Jordan Taufua and James Haskell embodied the tussle up front with a bruising ding-dong battle that saw each take it in turn to put the other flat on his back.

And it was typically strong carries from Watson and Matt Kvesic that laid the platform for England to break the deadlock, as Danny Cipriani ghosted through a gap in the home 22, and fired the ball back inside for his hooker Gray to splash over.

The pivot converted, and England immediately cranked up the pressure. There were shades of Rob Howley and Clement Poitrenaud by the corner flag as Johnny McNicholl dallied over a bouncing ball that stubbornly refused to graze the touchline; Foden - playing on the wing - snuck in and picked his pocket.

Cipriani failed to master the swirling breeze from the touchline, but England were playing with a spring in their step, and averaging more than a point a minute at 0-12 with eight on the clock.

The Crusaders, in front of a capacity home crowd, responded with purpose, but errors and imprecision meant their pressure failed to yield points until the 23rd minute, when Todd - an early replacement for George Whitelock, who picked up a head knock - burrowed his way over in the shadow of the uprights, Tom Taylor converting.

If the AMI Stadium faithful expected a backlash, they were left sorely disappointed minutes later when Barritt stepped past Tyler Bleyendaal and powered his way over the line for England's third. Cipriani's conversion took the scoreline to 7-19.

England were making a habit of pinching seemingly secure Crusaders possession from the murky depths of rolling mauls, and it was from such a steal by captain Ed Slater that the hosts were caught cold in their own 22.

The ball was moved swiftly through the hands, allowing Goode to dummy and slalom his way over untroubled. Cipriani too had no problems off the tee, and banged over his third conversion of the night to hand England a deserved 7-26 half-time lead.

The fly-half was replaced by Stephen Myler seven minutes into the second forty, adding further to speculation that he may be Stuart Lancaster's pick for the final Test with Owen Farrell ruled out.

His absence did nothing to harm England's performance. The hosts battered and bludgeoned Lancaster's defence after the break, but failed to break down the visitors' rear-guard.

By contrast, England were clinical, the Crusaders clinging on by virtue of two brilliant turnovers on their own try-line. Their resistance was broken and the game put to bed in some considerable style on 58 minutes.

A fantastic delayed run off Pennell, timed to perfection by Watson, saw the wing slice through the hosts' midfield and round Taylor to score under the posts.

The try of the day was converted by Myler, and proved to be the only points of a second half that brimmed with blood and guts, but failed to produce much in the way of attacking inspiration until Pennell gathered Barritt's kick with the clock red for a sixth try in the corner.

Myler couldn't quite add the extras from the touchline, but further evidence of England's growing squad depth came to the fore anew in the Garden City.

The scorers:

For Crusaders:
Try: Todd
Con: Taylor

For England:
Tries: Gray, Foden, Barritt, Goode, Watson, Pennell
Cons: Cipriani 3, Myler 2

The teams:

Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Jimmy McNicholl, 13 Reynold Lee-Lo, 12 Kieron Fonotia, 11 Nafi Tuitavake, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 George Whitelock (c), 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Joel Everson, 4 Jimmy Tupou, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Tim Perry
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19

Scott Barrett, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Adam Whitelock, 23 Rob Thompson.

England: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Ben Foden, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Anthony Watson, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Tom Johnson, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 James Haskell, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Ed Slater (c), 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 David Ward, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Michael Paterson, 20 Richard Wigglesworth, 21 Stephen Myler, 22 Jonny May, 23 Chris Pennell.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wal)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Preview
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
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
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26