Crusaders win borefest
The Crusaders recorder their second win of the season, as they put their campaign back on track, beating the Rebels 25-19.
The Crusaders recorded their second win of the season, as they put their campaign back on track, beating the Rebels 25-19 in a dour encounter in Melbourne on Friday.
In the game of few highlights, the teams scored one try each - with the final three minutes providing the most excitement, after the Rebels score a converted try to claw back from 12-25 down and give themselves a glimmer of hope.
However, the Crusaders - who have not looked championship material all season - held on to claim four points.
The Crusaders were facing a one-win three-defeats record for the first time since 2009, but the boot of centre Tom Taylor sealed the deal for the men from Christchurch.
Kieran Read's outfit will treasure this, not least because they entered the game having lost eight of their last 11 away trips in the competition.
Much like last week's win over the Stormers, it wasn't pretty as it took 55 minutes before the game's first try was claimed by Ben Funnell.
But either side of that the assured goal-kicking of Tom Taylor ultimately proved to be the difference - as his 20-point haul lifts his side up the Super Rugby standings going into their bye week.
The game as a spectacle was far from thrilling as Jason Woodward and Taylor's boots dominated the first half, with the interval scoreline being 12-9 in favour of the Crusaders after few opportunities.
Taylor and Woodward exchanged further penalties before the first five-pointer.
The Crusaders moved up a gear and after the ball was shifted out to the right wing, captain Read drew the last man before finding hooker Funnell for the easy run-in. Taylor's conversion made it 22-12.
Taylor then added his seventh successful kick of the day on 69 minutes as the match looked to have been settled.
However, the Rebels showed fight as flank Scott Fuglistaller went over off the back of a maul to give them slim hope with a minute left.
It proved false, but ultimately salvaged a bonus point for going down by fewer than seven points.
Man of the match: In a game of mediocrity it didn't take much for the boot of Crusaders centre Tom Taylor to stand out - winning him our award.
For the Rebels:
Pens: Woodward 3, Hegarty
For the Crusaders:
Pens: Taylor 6
Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Lachlan Mitchell, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Colby Fainga'a, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Angus Roberts, 23 Telusa Veainu.
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Nafi Tuitavake, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Luke Whitelock, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 Nemani Nadolo.
Referee: James Leckie (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Ian Smith (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)