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Last gasp Crusaders hold on to beat Stormers

Schalk Burger attempts to break through the Crusaders defence

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Article Published: Saturday 8 March 2014|

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The Crusaders survived a massive scare but held on for their first Super Rugby victory when they beat the Stormers 14-13 in Christchurch.

Both teams scored one try each but the Crusaders needed a penalty five minutes from time to take the lead on the scoreboard.

All Blacks flyhalf Tom Taylor's third penalty with six minutes remaining helped the seven-time champion Crusaders retain an unbeaten record in home matches against overseas teams which stretches back to 2004.

The Stormers have never won in Christchurch but looked set to break their duck in the city for most of the second half.

The Crusaders opened the scoring with a penalty but the Stormers soon levelled the scores with a penalty of their own.

The Crusaders had dominated possession and territory in the first half but were unable to breach the impenetrable Stormers defence.

The Stormers defensive performance in the first was one of the strongest seen in Super Rugby for some time.

With the scores level at half time the Stormers turned on their attack early in the second half and went into a 10 point lead through a further penalty and converted Damian de Allende try.

Fly-half Tom Taylor became hero for the seven-time champions, landing a penalty with six minutes to go that sealed the victory after debutant Kieron Fonotia's try put the Crusaders within striking distance.

Taylor also produced a try-saving tackle to mow down the Stormers' Nizaam Carr with a minute on the clock as the match reached a nail-biting finale.

The Crusaders were fortunate to score their first win of the season against a Stormers' outfit that produced a stunning defensive effort which defused the home side's All Black-studded backline for much of the match.

Springbok flanker Schalk Burger said he felt the Stormers had done enough to claim victory when Damian de Allende scored a converted try early in the second half to put them up 3-13.

Burger, who had an outstanding game, pounced on a sloppy Willi Heinz kick and offloaded to Jean de Villiers, whose chip kick was scooped up by de Allende on the run.

"We did enough to get a victory but unfortunately we were one point light tonight. Obviously they were desperate," he said.

The Crusaders remained persistent and were finally rewarded with a try in the 68th minute when replacement Fonotia bustled over the line, dragging two defenders with him.

But the Stormers retained a narrow 11-13 lead when Taylor's conversion attempt drifted wide.

Taylor was however on target when Michael Rhodes conceded an offside penalty, nailing the kick to give the Crusaders the narrowest of wins.

Burger said the Stormers, who enjoyed a one-point win against the Hurricanes last week, would take confidence from the fact that they had come so close to upsetting the vaunted Crusaders.

"It was a massive effort not to get a victory and we'll have to bounce back from that and bring the same intensity against the Chiefs next week," he said.

Final Score Crusaders 14 (3) Stormers 13 (3)

Scorers

Crusaders
Tries - K. Fonotia
Pen - T. Taylor 3
Con -
Drop -
Cards -

Stormers
Tries - D. de Allende
Pen - D. Catrakilis 2
Con - D.Catrakilis
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee:
Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant Ref 1: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 2: Ben O'Keefe
TMO: Chris Wratt

Teams

Crusaders

1.Wyatt Crockett , 2.Corey Flynn , 3.Owen Franks , 4.Luke Romano , 5.Samuel Whitelock , 6.Luke Whitelock , 7.Matt Todd , 8.Kieran Read (c) , 9.Willi Heinz , 10.Tom Taylor , 11.Israel Dagg , 12.Ryan Crotty (vc) , 13.Reynold Lee-Lo , 14.Johnny McNicholl , 15.Colin Slade

Replacements : 16.Ben Funnell , 17.Tim Perry , 18.Nepo Laulala , 19.Dominic Bird , 20.Jordan Taufua , 21.Andy Ellis , 22.Tyler Bleyendaal , 23.Kieron Fonotia

Stormers

15. Jaco Taute , 14. Kobus van Wyk , 13. Jean de Villiers (captain) , 12. Damian de Allende , 11. Gio Aplon , 10. Demetri Catrakilis , 9. Nic Groom , 8. Duane Vermeulen , 7. Schalk Burger (vice-captain) , 6. Deon Fourie , 5. De Kock Steenkamp , 4. Michael Rhodes , 3. Frans Malherbe , 2. Scarra Ntubeni , 1. Steven Kitshoff

Replacements: 16. Tiaan Liebenberg , 17. Oliver Kebble , 18. Pat Cilliers , 19. Ruan Botha , 20. Nizaam Carr , 21. Louis Schreuder , 22. Peter Grant , 23. Sailosi Tagicakibau

 
 
 
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