Crusaders rout hapless Sunwolves

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 06:45

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Crusaders put eight tries past the hapless Sunwolves to beat the men from Japan 50-3 in a wet Christchurch on Good Friday.

The Crusaders were simply TOO GOOD for the visitors, who found it tough to get into the game in testing conditions.

However, it was more the efficiency of the Crusaders and the professional application of the laws by the referee, rather than the after-effects of cyclone Cook that caused the downfall of the Sunwolves.

The Crusaders completely dominated possession and territory, as they shut down a team that had relied on the leniency of match officials all season to keep them in games.

This time it went horribly wrong.

Manasa Mataele bagged a hat-trick of tries to help ensure the Crusaders reclaim first place on the global table from the Stormers - who held it on points differential for the past week.

The overwhelming scoreline also kept the Crusaders unbeaten after seven matches.

The hapless Sunwolves have only tasted victory once this year to go with their sole win in their maiden season last year.

In their first ever match in New Zealand, the Sunwolves were competitive for the first 20 minutes and managed to snuff out a Crusaders line-out drive.

But when Crusaders right wing Seta Tamanivalu was yellow-carded in the 25th minute for a dangerous tackle, his nephew Mataele sprang into action on the left wing and it was all Crusaders from there.

Mataele ran in three quick tries as the Crusaders jumped from 14-3 ahead to lead 29-3 at half-time.

They piled on a further three tries in the second half before losing their finishing edge when the lop-sided affair was used to blood junior members of their squad for the final quarter.

Despite the commanding win, Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock felt his side had lost a little accuracy after having a bye last week.

"We were a little bit rusty but the beauty is we got the win, which is the main thing, and got maximum points as well," he said.

"We were good in parts but we didn't really finish that well. We had a couple of guys out there for their first run so they'll be bursting with that feeling and that excitement."

It was a sharp return to earth for the Japanese who celebrated their first win of the season last week when they came from behind to beat the Bulls 21-20.

They were monstered by a Crusaders pack bolstered by the return of All Black skipper Kieran Read who scored the first try of the match when the Crusaders used their superior power to drive him over the line.

Hooker Ben Funnell scored the second try, also from a forward drive, before Mataele brought the pace and dexterity of the Crusaders backline into action.

He scored two tries down the left side and a third on the right as the match statistics highlighted a clear difference in class.

The Crusaders made 550 metres to 154, while the Sunwolves were forced to make 127 tackles to 59.

Pete Samu, George Bridge and Whetu Douglas scored further tries for the Crusaders in the first 20 minutes of the second half to bring up their 50 points.

Life gets tougher for the Crusaders next week when they host the Stormers, while the Sunwolves head to Invercargill to play the Highlanders.

Man of the match: You can look at a host - or almost all - of the Crusaders players. Men like David Havili, Manasa Mataele, Kieran Read (in his first game back from wrist surgery), Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano and Ben Funnell were all very impressive. However, our award goes to Australian referee Nic Berry - the first match official this season to penalise the Sunwolves for their persistent illegal tactics - collapsing scrums, props standing on their knees, the hooker advancing his foot illegally before the ball is in, skew throws at the line-outs, offside, hands in at every ruck, obstructive running, etc.

The scorers:

For the Crusaders:
 Reid, Funnell, Mataele 3, Samu, Bridge, Douglas
Cons: Mo'unga 3, McKenzie 2

For the Sunwolves:

Yellow card: Seta Tamanivalu (Crusaders, 25 - foul play, taking out a player in the air)


Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Manasa Mataele, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Luke Romano, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Whetu Douglas, 21 Leon Fukofuka, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 George Bridge.

Sunwolves: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Teruya Goto, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, 7 Shunsuke Nunomaki, 6 Edward Quirk, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Takeshi Kizu, 1 Keita Inagaki.
Replacements: 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Heiichiro Ito, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Yuhimaru Mimura, 21 Yuki Yatomi, 22 William Tupou, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.

Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Will Houston (Australia), Cam Stone (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
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