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Crusaders come from behind to edge Chiefs

Gareth Anscombe of the Chiefs is tackled by Kieran Reid

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Article Published: Saturday 19 April 2014|

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The Crusaders stretched their winning streak to three matches when they edged Super Rugby champions the Chiefs 17-18 in Hamilton.

The Chiefs won the first contest between the teams 10-18 at Christchurch in February this year so this result evens out the wins to one each for 2014.

The result ends a two match winning streak for the Chiefs over the Crusaders but Christchurch side will be concerned about IRB Player of the year and captain Kieran Read who had to leave the field in the first half again after failing a concussion test.

The defining moment in the match came three minutes into the second half when the Chiefs went through 26 phases on the Crusaders line only to knock the ball on and come away with nothing from the immense pressure.

Two minutes before half time the Chiefs scored the only try of the match by former Crusader Tom Marshall and a try on the other side of the half might have killed off the Crusaders.

However as the Crusaders defended their line and held the Chiefs out they took strength from their own defence and grew stronger.

Colin Slade kicked six penalties for the Crusaders and had two kicks hit the post which proved to be enough to win the match.

Slade's opposite number Gareth Anscombe had the opportunity to snatch the result from the Crusaders with a penalty in extra time but his kick fell short.

Having made a slow start to the season the Crusaders have now worked their way into fifth place overall, second in the New Zealand Conference by going unbeaten in South Africa and knocking over the double champions at home.

The Crusaders reward for holding the Chiefs out early in the second half was Slade's fourth penalty goal at the other end of the field to close the margin to 17-12.

Slade's next two penalty attempts each hit a post, but he nailed the next two after to put his team back in front with nine minutes to go.

The Chiefs came back with a spirited finish and five-eighth Gareth Anscombe had the chance to snatch victory after the hooter, but his penalty shot from inside his own half fell just short.

The opening spell included three concussion checks in quick succession after Chiefs No.8 Liam Squire and halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow and influential Crusaders skipper Kieran Read left the field.

Kerr-Barlow came back on, only to be replaced at halftime, while Squire and Read stayed off.

Squire was left groggy in the 28th minute by the shoulder of opposition lock Dominic Bird, who was yellow-carded for a no-arm tackle.

All Blacks No.8 Read was then hit in heavy contact, with Kerr-Barlow among the tacklers, while making a typically strong run with the ball.

The departures and the yellow card led to a momentum shift as the Chiefs went from 3-9 down to take the lead 12-9 off Anscombe's boot.

They then had fullback Tom Marshall dot down in the corner just before halftime to open out an eight-point advantage.

Anscombe's extra time penalty from just inside the Chiefs half fell short which means that the Champions have won one match in their last five.

The Crusaders have played eight matches at the half way point and won five while the Chiefs have played eight won four and drawn two.

Final Score Chiefs17 (17)Crusaders18(9)

Scorers

Chiefs
Tries - T.Marshall
Pen - G.Anscombe 4
Con -
Drop -
Cards -

Crusaders
Tries -
Pen - C.Slade 6
Con -
Drop -
Cards - D.Bird (27th min yellow)

Match Officials
Referee
: Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 1: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 2: Kane McBride
TMO: Glenn Newman

Teams

Chiefs

1. Pauliasi Manu , 2. Rhys Marshall , 3. Ben Tameifuna , 4. Michael Fitzgerald , 5. Brodie Retallick , 6. Liam Messam , 7. Tanerau Latimer 100th Chiefs Match , 8. Liam Squire , 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10. Gareth Anscombe , 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma , 12. Bundee Aki , 13. Andrew Horrell , 14. Tim Nanai-Williams , 15. Tom Marshall

Replacements : 16. Nathan Harris , 17. Jamie Mackintosh , 18. Josh Hohneck , 19. Matt Symons , 20. Sam Cane , 21. Augustine Pulu , 22. Anton Lienert-Brown , 23. Jordan Payne

Crusaders

1. Wyatt Crockett,2. Corey Flynn,3. Owen Franks,4. Dominic Bird,5. Samuel Whitelock,6. Jordan Taufua,7. Matt Todd,8. Kieran Read (C),9. Willi Heinz,10.Colin Slade,11.Nemani Nadolo,12.Ryan Crotty (VC),13.Tom Taylor,14.Johnny McNicholl,15.Israel Dagg

Replacements :16. Ben Funnell,17. Tim Perry,18. Nepo Laulala,19. Jimmy Tupou,20. Luke Whitelock,21. Andy Ellis,22. Tyler Bleyendaal,23. Adam Whitelock

 
 
 
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