Crusaders power past feeble Force

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:19

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Crusaders hardly got out of second gear, but still had too much power for the Western Force.

The seven-time champion Crusaders outscored the visitors from Australia by seven tries to two in a 45-17 victory - which also produced two yellow cards, a heap if scrum penalties and the usual batch of questionable penalties by Australian referee Rohan Hoffmann.

The result also sees the Crusaders maintain their 100 percent record - five wins from five - this season.

The Crusaders led from the outset, heeding coach Scott Robertson's demand that they score early after being forced to come from behind in their previous three matches.

It was a lopsided defeat the Force could have done without amid speculation the Perth franchise faces the axe as SANZAAR look to revamp the competition.

But captain Jono Lance refused to blame some tight refereeing calls that went against his team.

He praised the Force's determination to play the ball, even though they failed to crack the Crusaders defence in the second half.

"You can get caught up trying to defend so you're there or thereabouts [on the scoreboard] at the end," he said.

"But we wanted to come here and throw some punches and I think we did that."

The Crusaders wasted no time scoring their first try, with Digby Ioane touching down in the third minute after Mitchell Drummond's run set him up.

Matt Todd added a second 13 minutes later, driving his way to the base of the post after the Crusaders wore down the committed Force defence.

Force wing Alex Newsome hit back with a 70-metre try after intercepting a stray Todd pass, but it was a temporary reprieve before one-way traffic resumed.

Scott Barrett, shifted from lock to blindside flank for the match, barged over the line taking three defenders with him.

Luke Romano then pounced on the ball as the Force tried to recycle it in their own in-goal area, with referee Rohan Hoffmann ruling it a try.

Wing Chance Peni kept the Force within touching distance when he stretched out to score just before half-time, narrowing the gap to 28-17 at the break.

A rolling maul delivered the home side's fifth try 10 minutes after the restart, with Codie Taylor crossing as the Crusaders' forwards dominated their opposition.

The Force scrum then lifted to deliver 10 minutes of sustained pressure, resulting in Crusaders' prop Tim Perry being sin-binned for repeated infringements.

But the Crusaders held on, snuffing out any hope of an unlikely Force comeback, with tries to David Havili and Ben Funnell completing the rout in the final 10 minutes.

Man of the match:  In the backline David Havili and Ryan Crotty, were the most impressive Crusaders, while Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Scott Barrett ad Luke Romano also put their hands up. However, our award goes to the Crusaders' All Black lock Sam Whitelock - the rock in that impressive tight five.

The scorers:

For the Crusaders:
Ioane, Todd, Barrett, Romano, Taylor, Havili, Funnell
Cons: Hunt 4, McKenzie

For the Western Force:
Newsome, Peni
Cons: Lane 2
Pen: Lance

Yellow card: Tim Perry (Crusaders, 59 - repeated infringements, illegal scrummaging), Isi Naisarani (Western Force, 71 - cynical foul, playing ball on the ground)


Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Digby Ioane, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Scott Barrett, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks,2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Mitchell Dunshea, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Manasa Mataele.

Western Force: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Chance Peni, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Jono Lance (captain), 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Isi Naisarani, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Richie Arnold, 20 Matt Hodgson, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Ian Prior, 23 Robbie Coleman.

Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Richard Kelly (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)

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Fri, 23 March 2018
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Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
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