The Crusaders face south island rivals the Highlanders in the first of Saturday’s three Super Rugby Quarter-finals.
The Crusaders lost their unbeaten streak last weekend and with it the top seeding for the play offs – and potentially the right to host the final.
We are waiting for the kick off.
The Highlanders kick off – low and the Crusaders are off the mark so they drop it. The Crusaders recover and kick the ball into touch.
1.00: The Highlanders win the first line out. They attack but eventually the ball gets turned over and the Crusaders kick for touch setting up a line out in the Highlanders 22.
3.00: The Crusaders win the line out – get the advantage and play on – they kick wide and the ball goes into touch. The Crusaders are called back for the penalty.
4.00: TMO review on a tackle by Liam Squire. The Crusaders have already signalled that they will go for posts. TMO replays show Liam Squire with a shoulder charge. It’s a yellow card for Liam Squire.
5.00: Richie Mo’unga takes the penalty kick, nails it and the Crusaders lead.
8.00: Penalty from the breakdown – not releasing – to the Crusaders. Dagg puts the ball into touch near the half way line.
10.00: The Crusaders win the line out, the Highlanders knock on. The Crusaders win the scrum and run the ball into the Highlanders 22 where the Highlanders turn the ball over and run it to the half way line.
13.00: The Crusaders work the ball to the Highlanders tryline. Liam Coltman is caught offside so the Crusaders have a penalty. As the Highlanders have a man down they take the line out.
16.00: The Highlanders defence holds the Crusaders out and Sopoaga kicks for touch to the half way line. Liam Squire is back on.
18.00: Penalty to the Crusaders. Mo’unga takes the kick but misses.
21.00: Penalty to the Highlanders 5m out from their tryline. Sopoaga kicks for touch to clear the ball. The Crusaders are persistently attacking the Highlanders in the left corner as it’s the muddiest and most likely to see a ball being spilled.
23.00: The Crusaders win the line out but Kieran Read knocks on. Highlanders scrum. They win the ball and Sopoaga clears the ball into touch.
25.00: Penalty just outside the Highlanders 22 for a player leaving his feet. Mo’unga will have a shot at goal. He misses.
28.00: Scrum penalty to the Crusaders. Mo’unga kicks to the corner.
30.00: The Crusaders go through 8 phases on attack and get the ball to the Highlanders 5m line. 10 phases but they cannot get closer. 11 phases….
32.00: 14 phases and the Crusaders get to the line. The ball is driven over and the TRY is awarded on the 15th phase. Try by Kieran Read or Joe Moody. It’s Joe Moody’s try.
33.00: Mo’unga takes the conversion and nails it.
36.00: Penalty again to the Crusaders. Mo’unga kicks for touch and sets up the line out in the Highlanders 22.
37.00: The Crusaders win the line out and get the maul going – it moves with speed and the Crusaders race over the line. The TRY is awarded BUT then the referees asisstant comes in to query something. No evidence that the ball was grounded by the TMO so it’s ruled to be held up. 5m scrum.
39.00 The Crusaders win the scrum and drive forward. They go over the line and get held up initially but Codie Taylor gets the ball down and scores the TRY!
40.00: As the siren sounds Mo’unga takes the conversion kick. He nails it. It’s half time.
The half time score was Crusaders 17 Highlanders 0
The Crusaders kick off and the second half is underway.
43.00: Lots of kicking from side to side in the second half from both sides. Testing each other’s defence.
44.00: Marty Banks comes on for Rob Thompson of the Highlanders.
46.00; The Crusaders set up a line out just inside the Highlanders 22. They set up the maul and drive towards the line.
48.00: The Crusaders maul slows so they move the ball out to the backs. The ball gets to the middle of the field where it becomes an arm wrestle. 12 phases and the Crusaders get to 7m out near the far touchline.
50.00: After 20 phases, the Crusaders eventually get the ball over the line but a fight breaks out so no one really knows what is going on. When it calms down the ruling is held up over the line.
51.00 Elliot Dixon comes on for Liam Squire. Siosuia Halanukonuka comes on for Siate Tokolahi. 5m scrum. The Crusaders win it. The ball goes dead though so we have another scrum.
53.00: Crusaders territory is up to 79%.
56.00: Out of almost nothing the Highlanders have the ball and Gareth Evans breaks down the wing. He is caught but the ball gets out and the Highlanders kick across the field and set up a 5m line out. The Highlanders steal the line out and attack on the 5m line.
58.00: Crusaders defend their line and force the knock on.
59.00: The Crusaders win the scrum and kick deep. Marty Banks kicks it back but the Crusaders boot it even further back.
63.00: Penalty to the Highlanders for playing the man without the ball. They kick to the corner and set up a line out in the Crusaders 22.
66.00: The Crusaders come away with the ball and they work it into the Highlanders 22 but then when they get into the Highlanders 22 they concede a penalty.
69.00: Penalty to the Crusaders. They will have a shot.
70.00: Mo’unga takes the shot but misses.
71.00: The Crusaders try to attack in the Highlanders 22 but they concede a penalty. The Highlanders clear the ball into touch.
74.00: A Crusaders scrum in front of the posts but just outside the Highlanders 22 has to be reset several times which eats up time.
76.00: The game has slowed and although the Highlanders are still pressing they know the Crusaders have effectively won this. Ben Smith has a run but gets shut down.
78.00: The Crusaders win a scrum. The referee takes a tumble but the game carries on and the Crusaders kick for touch. The Highlanders take a quick line out which produces a penalty for offside.
80.00: The Highlanders have the ball as the siren sounds. They go through 9 phases in the mud but they knock on.
The Crusaders have won.
The full time score is Crusaders 17 (17) Highlanders 0 (0)
Tries -J.Moody, C.Taylor
Pen – R.Mo’unga
Con – R.Mo’unga 2
Cards – L. Squire (4th min yellow)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1:Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 2:Mike Fraser
TMO : Glenn Newman
1. Joe Moody , 2. Codie Taylor , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Scott Barrett , 5. Sam Whitelock (C) , 6. Jordan Taufua , 7. Matt Todd (VC) , 8. Kieran Read , 9. Bryn Hall , 10. Richie Mo’unga , 11. Seta Tamanivalu , 12. Ryan Crotty (VC) , 13. Jack Goodhue , 14. Israel Dagg , 15. David Havili
Replacements : 16. Ben Funnell , 17. Wyatt Crockett , 18. Michael Alaalatoa , 19. Luke Romano , 20. Pete Samu , 21. Mitchell Drummond , 22. Mitchell Hunt , 23. George Bridge
1. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Siate Tokolahi , 4. Jackson Hemopo , 5. Tom Franklin , 6. Liam Squire , 7. James Lentjes , 8. Luke Whitelock , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Richard Buckman , 12. Rob Thompson, 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Waisake Naholo , 15. Ben Smith (cc)
Replacements : 16. Ash Dixon (cc) , 17. Aki Seiuli , 18. Siosuia Halanukonuka , 19. Alex Ainley , 20. Gareth Evans , 21. Elliot Dixon , 22. Kayne Hammington , 23. Marty Banks