Crusaders back on top
SUPER RUGBY MATCH REPORT: Manasa Mataele's brace of tries helped the Crusaders edge the Brumbies, winning 21-8 in Canberra on Saturday.
The result ensures that the defending Super Rugby champions retain the top spot, previously held by their New Zealand compatriots the Hurricanes.
The defeat to the Brumbies means that New Zealand sides have now won 36 consecutive matches against their counterparts from Australia with the last Australian victory registered in Round 14 of 2016 when the Waratahs beat the Chiefs.
The Crusaders - who were reduced to 13 men during the second half outscored the Brumbies by three to one.
The other try was scored by Tim Bateman. While the Brumbies only try was scored by Henry Speight.
The eight-time Super Rugby champions Crusaders fell behind to a try by Henry Speight after 90 seconds but powered away to lead the Brumbies 21-8 at half-time.
The Brumbies had more territory and possession in a scoreless second half.
But despite the Crusaders losing Scott Barrett and Ryan Crotty to the sin bin, they could not close the gap.
The win pushed the Crusaders to the top of the standings after the Lions upset and it was their 10th straight win outside New Zealand.
"There were guys in the sin bin, that's never nice, and full credit to the boys who stayed out there. They remained pretty calm and we worked through those issues of having two guys on the sidelines," Crusaders skipper Sam Whitelock said.
Man of the match: Scouting for a stand-out performance proved to be difficult as both teams played a very conservative game. For the Crusaders flank Matt Todd and lock Sam Whitelock deserve a mention for their work rate. But in All Black wing Israel Dagg's absence, replacement Manasa Mataele delivered a nothworthy performance. He made 72 metres and boast with 11 carries and two tries.
Tries: Bateman, Mataele 2
Cons: Delany 3
Yellow Cards: Chance Peni (Brumbies, 19 - Dangerous tackle) Scott Barrett (Crusaders, 59- repeated infringements), Ryan Crotty (Crusaders, 61 - deliberate slowing down the ball)
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Andrew Smith, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Blake Enever, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga'a, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Faalelei Sione, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Andy Muirhead.
Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Seta Tamanivalu, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Samuel Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tim Perry.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele.
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Will Houston (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)