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Crusaders become first NZ team to win in SA

Israel Dagg of the Crusaders is double tackled

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Article Published: Saturday 5 April 2014|

The Crusaders became the first team to cross the Indian Ocean and win when they beat the Lions 7-28 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Until now no team has crossed the Indian Ocean either way and come away with a victory on tour this season.

The Chiefs came the closest with two draws but they were unable to win a match in South Africa.

The Crusaders outscored the Lions by three tries to one and managed to keep the Lions scoreless for the first 50 minutes of the match.

The match was not the most entertaining of Round 8 and both sides appeared listless for most of the match.

The visitors' six point lead at the half-time break was a true reflection of the game in the opening 40 minutes of the match.

Other than the odd line break by either side, there was little to be excited about in the duel between the Lions and the uncharacteristically listless Crusaders.

The Lions had to defend with all their might in the opening exchanges as the Crusaders made an early assault on the line.

In the end the tourists' had to be content with three points via a penalty conversion by Colin Slade in the 10th minute before he added another three minutes later.

The hosts made a few charges on the goal line but poor finishing ultimately saw the opportunities go to waste.

Lions flanker Willie Britz was one of a few standout players in the encounter and he nearly always had a hand in some of the positive movements in their play.

After a forgetful first half, the match finally seemed to kick into gear after the interval with the Crusaders finding the first breakthrough.

The Crusaders were rewarded for sustained pressure on the line with captain Ryan Crotty finding the gap inside the 22 where he was ankle tapped before he got back to his feet to score, with Slade converting.

Three minutes later Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff had a rare miss with his penalty conversion attempt.

The missed kicked was soon forgotten when Lions centre Lionel Mapoe scored his side's first and only try of the match in the 51st minute.

Mapoe dotted down on the left-hand corner after good interplay between the players with Britz playing an instrumental part in the try.

The curly-haired flanker handled the ball on three occasions while he came close to scoring before he was stopped short of the line, with Boshoff converting to cut down the deficit to six points.

Crotty was denied his second try when he pounced on a spilt Lions ball and it initially appeared as if he had scored the try.

Match referee Marius van der Westhuizen awarded the try but then as Slade was lining up for the conversion referee Stuart Berry came in and asked Van der Westhuizen to check the grounding.

The referee went to the TMO who ruled that the grounding was short and the try was overruled. The Crusaders were however soon awarded a penalty and fullback Israel Dagg extended their lead by three more points thanks to a penalty conversion in the 69th minute as Colin Slade had to leave the field for blood.

Four minutes later scrumhalf Andy Ellis scored from a turnover ball before Kieron Fonotia added the third try a minute from time fielding a Dagg grubber kick to seal the victory.

Final Score Lions 7 (0) Crusaders 28 (6)


Tries - L.Mapoe
Pen -
Con - M.Boshoff
Drop -
Cards -

Tries - R.Crotty, A Ellis,K. Fonotia
Pen - C.Slade 2, I Dagg
Con - C.Slade, I Dagg
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1: Lourens van der Merwe
Assistant Ref 2: Jaco van Heerden
TMO: Johan Greeff



15. Andries Coetzee , 14. Deon van Rensburg , 13. Lionel Mapoe , 12. Stefan Watermeyer , 11. Courtnall Skosan , 10. Marnitz Boshoff , 9. Faf de Klerk , 8. Warren Whiteley (c) , 7. Willie Britz , 6. Jaco Kriel , 5. Martin Muller , 4. Franco Mostert , 3. Julian Redelinghuys , 2. Willie Wepener , 1. Schalk van der Merwe

Replacements : 16. Malcolm Marx , 17. Corne Fourie , 18. Ruan Dreyer , 19. MB Lusaseni , 20. Warwick Tecklenburg , 21. Ross Cronje , 22. Elton Jantjies , 23. JW Jonker ,


1. Wyatt Crockett,2. Ben Funnell ,3. Owen Franks,4. Dominic Bird ,5. Samuel Whitelock,6. George Whitelock (VC),7. Matt Todd,8. Luke Whitelock ,9. Andy Ellis ,10. Colin Slade ,11. Johnny McNicholl ,12. Ryan Crotty (C) ,13. Kieron Fonotia,14. Nemani Nadolo ,15. Israel Dagg

Replacements : 16. Corey Flynn ,17. Daniel Lienert-Brown,18. Nepo Laulala,19. Jimmy Tupou ,20. Jordan Taufua,21. Willi Heinz ,22. Tyler Bleyendaal ,23. Tom Taylor

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