Reigning Super Rugby champions the Crusaders kicked off their title defence with a 45-23 victory over the Chiefs at home in Christchurch.
The score-line suggests that the match was one-sided but it was not until the final 10 minutes when the Chiefs were reduced to 14 players that the Crusaders ran away with the result so they are not yet at their best.
The Stormers started their season with a 28-20 victory over the Jaguares but then last week they fell at the final hurdle and were beaten 34-27 by the Waratahs in Sydney. Their campaign to date has been mixed.
- The Crusaders have won 14 of their last 16 games against the Stormers, including each of their last six.
- The Crusaders have never been defeated by the Stormers when playing at home (W10, D1), scoring an average of 31 points per game across that time.
- The Crusaders have won their last 12 games at home against teams from outside New Zealand; their last such loss came in the opening round of the 2015 campaign against the Rebels.
- The Stormers haven’t won in New Zealand since an 18-16 win over the Hurricanes in Round 11, 2013; they’ve lost eight games there since.
- George Bridge has scored six tries from his four previous games against South African teams, including a hat-trick in his only previous encounter with the Stormers.
We are waiting for the kick off.
SP Marais of the Stormers kicks off and the match is underway.
1.00: The Crusaders boot the ball straight back into touch. The Crusaders win the line out and attack by moving the ball down the line where they get an overlap but the ball is lost forward as they get to the 5m line.
3.00: The Stormers win the scrum and boot the ball upffield.
4.00: The Crusaders give the Stormers defence a real test as they move the ball through 9 phases. The Stormers defence holds strong but they concede a penalty. The Crusaders take a scrum almost in front of the posts.
6.00: The Crusaders get a free kick. They tap the ball and spread it wide catching the Stormers napping and George Bridge scores in the corner. TRY!
7.00: Richie Mo’unga hits the post with his conversion.
10.00: The Crusaders attack the Stormers from the 22m line after the Stormers mess up their line out. Codie Taylor goes for the corner and brushes off the tackle by Seabelo Senatla and scores. TRY!
11.00: Mo’unga slots the conversion from out wide.
13.00: The Stormers look to hit back after a break by Raymond Rhule. They get to about 5m out where they lose the ball and the Crusaders run the ball back into the Stormers half.
14.00: The Stormers turn the ball over but concede a penalty on the half way line.
16.00: The Crusaders get the ball into the Stormers 22. They pass the ball down the line and switch back inside to Billy Harmon who goes in to score. TRY!
17.00: Mo’unga adds the conversion.
18.00: The Crusaders break through the Stormers defence from the restart and Peter Samu powers through a ruck. The Crusaders pass the ball as they go and the ball gets to Bryn Hall who accelerates away from the Stormers and scores. TRY!
19.00: Mo’unga adds the conversion.
22.00: Heiden Bedwell-Curtis comes on for Jordan Taufua. Could be an injury or blood bin.
25.00: Penalty to the Stormers. SP.Marais boots the ball well downfield to relieve some pressure.
28.00: The Stormers string together 8 phases in centrefield but they make little ground. 9 phases. 11 phases but still theey are on the half way line. The Crusaders push them wide and into touch.
31.00: The Stormers get the ball into the Crusaders 22. They work the ball across the face of the posts through 9 phases. The ball slows as they get to the 10th phase. The Stormers keep attacking and get closer and closer to the line and JC Janse van Rensburg scores. TRY!
33. 00 : SP Marais takes the conversion. He nails it.
37.00: The Stormers win a scrum in the middle of the field. They spread thee ball wide to Senatla but he is caught. The Stormers are called back for the advantage as the front row collapsed. Marais kicks for touch as they will take the line out.
39.00: The Crusaders come away with the ball after the line out. The Crusaders break out from 80m out and pass the ball as they go. The Crusaders keep the ball moving and eventually Bridge gets the ball on the ground from a grubber and scores. TRY!
40.00: Mo’unga hits the post with his conversion.
It’s half time.
The half time score was Crusaders 31 Stormers 7
Pieter-Steph du Toit has been replaced for the second half.
The Stormers get the perfect start as Senatla makes a break. he is just caught by Richie Mo’unga but thee Stormers keep the ball alive and Wilco Louw scores. TRY!
42.00: SP Marais slots the conversion.
43.00: Luke Romano has come on for the Crusaders earning his 100th Super rugby cap.
44.00 Scrum penalty to the Stormers. Marais puts the ball out on the 22m line.
45.00: The Stormers win the line out but lose ground. The Stormers keep the ball and work it slowly into the Crusaders 22. The Crusaders pick up an intercept but SP Marais is penalised for neck roll tackle. The Crusaders clear the ball into touch.
47.00: The Crusaders tackle high so the Stormers have a kick for touch and the line out. The TMO is called in to review the tackle by Michael Alaalatoa on Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
48.00 The Crusaders come away with the ball from the line out. They get to the half way line where the Stormers steal the ball. Cobus Wiese slices through the Crusaders but offloads to a Crusaders player.
50.00: Steven Kitshoff comes on for JC Janse van Rensburg. Siya Kolisi also looks to have been replaced.
51.00: The Stormers have the ball on attack. The Crusaders appear happy to defend as the Stormers go through the phases.
53.00: The Stormers keep on attacking relentlessly and eventually JD Schickerling scores. TRY!
54.00: SP Marais adds the conversion and the deficit has been cut to 10 points.
59.00: The home crowd is getting bored with the action as they have started entertaining themselves with mexican waves. There is a break in play as a spectator runs on to the field.
61.00: The Crusaders kick for touch from a penalty. They set up the line out and win it. The maul gets formed and it rolls with pace to the posts, but the ball pops out to Seta Tamanivalu who runs it to score. TRY!
62.00: Mo’unga adds the conversion.
67.00: The Crusaders are back in control having been quiet after the break. They are contesting again. The Crusaders win a line out and attack in the Stormers 22.
68.00: Richie Mo’unga side-steps three Stormers players and darts in for the line and scores. TRY!
69.00: Mo’unga adds the conversion.
74.00: The Crusaders have their bonus point back so they appear to have settled down again. The Stormers have the ball on attack in the Crusaders 22.
75.00: Penalty to the Stormers. Sikhumbuzo Notshe taps it and after a couple of recycles Kitshoff slams the ball down at the base of the post. TRY!
76.00: Marais adds the conversion. Mo’unga has taken a knock and has to leave the field. Crusaders are actually down to 14 as a result as they were unable to replace him.
77.00: The Crusaders go on the attack but concede a penalty. The Stormers kick deep for the line out.
78.00: Stormers win the line out. Crusaders could lose the bonus point if the Stormers score. Stormers go through the phases and then kick high catching the Crusaders offside.
79.00: The Stormers win the line out from the penalty. They set up the driving maul.
80..00: The siren sounds as the Stormers get a penalty. They go over but look to have been held up. The TMO will review it. No try. Billy Harmon is yellow carded. Crusaders down to 13. Stormers take the scrum.
81.00: The Stormers win the scrum but the Crusaders steal the ball and boot it out.
The Crusaders have won.
The full time score is Crusaders 45 (31) Stormers 28 (7)
Tries – G.Bridge 2, C.Taylor, B.Harmon, B.Hall, S.Tamanivalu, R.Mo’unga
Con – R.Mo’unga 5
Cards -B. Harmon (80th min yellow)
Tries -JC Janse van Resnburg, W.Louw, JD Schickerling, S.Kitshoff
Con -SP. Marais 4
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1:Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant Ref 2:Cam Stone
TMO : Shane McDermott
15. David Havili, 14. Seta Tamanivalu, 13. Jack Goodhue, 12. Ryan Crotty, 11. George Bridge, 10. Richie Mo’unga, 9. Bryn Hall, 8. Jordan Taufua, 7. Billy Harmon, 6. Peter Samu, 5. Sam Whitelock (c), 4. Scott Barrett, 3. Michael Alaalatoa, 2. Codie Taylor, 1. Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16. Andrew Makalio, 17. Chris King, 18. Oliver Jager, 19. Luke Romano, 20. Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 21. Mitchell Drummond, 22. Mitchell Hunt, 23. Manasa Mataele
15 SP Marais, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Dillyn Leyds, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Dean Muir, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Kobus van Dyk, 22 Justin Phillips, 23 George Whitehead.