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

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Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26