Crusaders blow Hurricanes away

Fri, 14 Feb 2014 07:24
Large crusaders fans
Right wing Johnny McNicholl ran in a hat-trick of tries as the Crusaders beat the Hurricanes 40-15 in a Super Rugby pre-season match in Levin on Friday.
Right wing Johnny McNicholl ran in a hat-trick of tries as the Crusaders beat the Hurricanes 40-15 in a Super Rugby pre-season match in Levin on Friday.
The Wellington-based side enjoyed the better of the first 40 minutes and led 15-14 at the half-time interval thanks to tries from flyhalf Beauden Barrett, fullback Marty Banks and prop Ben Franks.
Barrett's kicking was astray and the tries remained unconverted.
The Crusaders' two first-half tries were both to McNicholl. 
The first was an intercept when the wing gladly accepted a loose pass from Hurricanes left wing Alapati Leiua to race in to score and then Ryan Crotty put McNicholl away in the corner to grab his second on 30 minutes.
The second half saw the introduction of seasoned All Black campaigners Richie McCaw, Sam Whitelock and Andy Ellis off the bench for the Crusaders - which turned the tide in favour of the visitors and the men from Canterbury enjoyed a four-tries-to-nil performance in the last 40 minutes.
After the break McNicholl bagged his third try after a misplaced Andre Taylor pass to give his side a 19-15 advantage.
Impressive replacement loose forward Jordan Taufua came off the bench to grab a brace of tries as the margin blew out to 33-15, before Heinz dotted down just before the full-time whistle to complete a big win for the seven-time Super Rugby champions.
The scorers:
For the Hurricanes:
Tries: Barrett, Banks, Franks
For the Crusaders:
Tries: McNicholl 3, Taufua 2, Heinz
Cons: Taylor 2, Bleyendaal 3
Hurricanes: 15 Marty Banks, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Alapati Leiua, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Adam Hill, 5 Mark Abbott, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles,  1 Ben Franks.
Replacements - from: Motu Matu'u, Ash Dixon, John Schwalger, Brendon Edmonds, Chris Eves, James Broadhurst, Mark Reddish, Blade Thomson, Faifili Levave, Ardie Savea, Callum Gibbins, Chris Smylie, Billy Guyton, James Marshall, Cardiff Vaega, Julian Savea, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Andre Taylor.
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Ryan Crotty (captain), 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Nafi Tuitavake, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements - from: Corey Flynn, Tim Perry, Nepo Laulala, Samuel Whitelock, Richie McCaw, Andy Ellis, Tyler Bleyendaal, Rob Thompson, Zac Guildford, Reynold Lee-Lo, Jordan Taufua.
Referee: Mike Fraser


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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