Crusaders steal it at the death in Brisbane

Sat, 11 Mar 2017 07:17
Large reds v crusaders 2017 800

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: Crusaders flyhalf Mitchell Hunt kicked a penalty right on full-time to give the Crusaders a 22-20 win over the Reds in their Super Rugby match in Brisbane on Saturday.

Trailing 7-20 at halftime, the Crusaders scored 15 unanswered points in the second half, despite playing the final 10 minutes with only 14 men after Jordan Taufua was shown a yellow card for foul play.

It was the Crusaders' second comeback win in succession and follows their 30-27 victory over the Highlanders last weekend.

"I am really proud that even though we were down a few points we came back," Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock said.

"It would be nice not to do that - it would be nice to get a few points early."

Reds, the rank outsiders going into the match, started strongly and opened the scoring with an early Quade Cooper penalty.

Cooper, who was involved in almost every Queensland attack, had the home fans worried when he needed treatment on his left leg but he was able to carry on.

However, the Crusaders weren't so lucky when All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg went down clutching his right knee and had to be replaced after just 10 minutes.

Soon after Dagg left the field the Reds scored the opening try when Sami Kerevi steamed onto a short ball from Cooper and ran over the top of Jack Goodhue. 

Cooper's conversion gave the home side a surprising 10-0 lead after only 10 minutes.

The Reds went further ahead when hooker Stephen Moore threw a superb pass to Kerevi, who burst through the Crusaders defence before finding wing Eto Nabuli, who crossed untouched to give the home side a 17-0 lead.

The Crusaders finally got on the scoreboard when former Reds wing Digby Ioane kicked ahead for scrumhalf Mitchell Drummond to score his seventh Super Rugby try.

Hunt's conversion made it 17-7 to the Reds, but a second Cooper penalty gave the Reds a 20-7 lead at halftime.

The Crusaders had slightly the better of the play in the second half but were let down by a series of handling errors and some strong Reds defence.

They finally broke through midway through the second period, Hunt breaking the line and feeding Marty McKenzie, who found Bryn Hall to score out wide and make it 20-12.

The Reds appeared to tire towards the end of the match and the Crusaders began to make easy ground up the middle.

Hall scored his second with only three minutes left when he crashed over under the posts to close the gap to 20-19.

The Reds tried desperately to hold on but when Kerevi was penalised for going off his feet in a ruck, Hunt calmly stepped up to give the visitors the win.

Man of the match: George Smith and Samu Kerevi were standout performers for the Reds. However, the award goes to Crusaders' replacement scrumhalf Bryn Hall for scoring two crucial tries in the second half. 

The scorers:

For Reds:
Tries: Kerevi, Nabuli
Cons: Cooper 2
Pens: Cooper 2

For Crusaders:
Tries: Drummond, Hall 2
Cons: Hunt 2
Pen: Hunt

Yellow card: Jordan Taufua (Crusaders, 68 - foul play, punching)

Teams:

Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia'aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 George Smith, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa'agase, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Chris Kuridrani.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.  
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 George Bridge.

Referee: William Houston (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nicholas Berry (Australia), Damon Murphy (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

AFP & @rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19