Depleted Crusaders 'make a point'

Sun, 31 Mar 2013 09:23
Large crusaders celebrate630 Large stormers v crusaders

The Crusaders proved a point at Newlands on Saturday by downing the Stormers without the help of a host of their big-name players.

The Crusaders proved a point at Newlands on Saturday by downing the Stormers without the help of a host of their big-name players.

The seven-time champions were without the services of senior All Blacks Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Dan Carter and Israel Dagg for various reasons, but pulled together well to secure a tense 19-14 win, which was the Stormers' first defeat at home this season.

Captain George Whitelock admitted that there was plenty of motivation for his side to prove some doubters wrong and show that they are about more than just their star players.

"There was probably more focus on the guys that weren't here all week and the group that went out there were pretty determined to make a point.

"So there was a bit of emotion there and at the same time it got out tour off to a good start, but we are early days in this competition so we won't get too carried away," he said.

The Crusaders have now won their last four consecutive matches against the Cape outfit, and Whitelock was particularly satisfied that his young team was able to get over the line in such a high-pressure environment.

"It is a great stadium and great atmosphere so it is pretty special to play here and the guys really enjoy coming. I guess it brings the best out of them.

"It is great confidence from the first game on tour, especially with a lot of young guys getting some game-time out there in such a high pressure venue," he said.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder acknowledged that his team's domination of the line-outs had played a major role in the result and pointed to the hard work that they put into preparing for the match as key to their success.

"We knew the Stormers' set-piece was critical to their game, and the guys have just done a lot of hard work this week and put them under pressure, it doesn't happen by accident.

"The team had been through a bit this week, obviously there was a bit of attention about the players that we didn't have but I think the senior players did a great job and really prepared well for this week so we got a really good outcome," he said.

However, there was some bad news for the visitors with injuries to Owen Franks and Jonny McNicholl giving them even fewer options for the match against the Sharks on Friday.

"We have got a couple of injuries at the moment. Owen Franks looks like he may have done a rib cartilage, I am not sure how bad, and Jonny McNicholl's ankle looks quite serious," said Blackadder.

By Michael de Vries

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4