Super Rugby

Crusaders beat Sunwolves in Christchurch




The Crusaders and the Sunwolves have only played each other once in Super Rugby and that match was won by the New Zealanders.

The Crusaders have played 7 matches this season and won 5 matches. They have played three matches at home and won them all.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway at a windy AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

1.00: TRY! Mike Delany ghosts through a big gap and charges into the Sunwolves’ 22. He draws the last defenders and throws a long pass to Ryan Crotty, who opens the scoring. 5-0

3.00: CONVERSION! Delany adds the extras. 7-0

6.00: Ben Franks sets himself for his first competitive scrum in 10 months. The Crusaders catch Jiwon Koo offsides and kick to the 22.

8.00: The Crusaders lost their lineout but win a scrum-penalty which they kick to the corner.

9.00: TRY! Matt Todd flops over the whitewash after a powerful driving maul. 12-0

10.00: CONVERSION! Delany slots the side-line kick. 14-0

12.00: The Sunwolves have possession, going 13 phases before winning another penalty.

13.00: Another couple of advantages for the Sunwolves. James Moore breaks through the line. The Japanese side is pummeling the Crusaders’ line.

14.00: TRY! Michael Little scores after another series of sustained possession. The Sunwolves went nine phases. The ball retention was superb and the presence of mind to get the ball wide quickly sent Little away in the corner. 14-5

15.00: MISS! The kick is wide. 14-5

17.00: Pieter Labuschagne is being checked for a tip-tackle on Israel Dagg. It’s just a penalty.

18.00: There is a hail storm, lightning and thunder, but at least the breeze has died down.

20.00: The Sunwolves’ ball security has been good when they’ve had it. Hayden Parker’s grubber-kick goes out into touch inside the Crusaders’ 22. Koo is down receiving treatment.

22.00: The Sunwolves lose a good opportunity inside the opposition’s 22. Scrum to the Kiwi side.

23.00: BIG SCRUM! The Crusaders march the Japanese pack backwards and win the penalty.

26.00: The players are struggling with the slippery ball. The good news is that the hail has stopped falling.

27.00: Delany’s kick stops just before the Sunwolves’ goal-line. William Tupou got back but was tackled in-goal. Scrum to the Kiwis.

28.00: Scrum penalty to the home team. Todd opts for another because of his team’s dominance in the set piece.

30.00: Superb work at the breakdown by Labuschagne, who wins the penalty for the visitors to clear.

33.00: The Sunwolves have contested the Crusaders lineout, well. They have stolen one, made the home team lose one forward after a good challenge and a penalty.

35.00: It’s the scrum that has been the biggest issue for the Japanese side.

36.00: Manasa Mataele breaks into the Sunwolves’ 22 but is well tackled. Tim Perry complains about an early tackle but the referee awards the scrum to the hosts.

37.00: The Crusaders win the ruck penalty and kick to the corner.

39.00: The Crusaders lose the ball forward then concede a free-kick for an early engagement.

41.00: The hooter sounds during a battle royale of a maul.

The half-time score was Crusaders 14 Sunwolves 5

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in New Zealand.

42.00: There has only been 6 ( three each) handling errors despite the atrocious conditions. A poor kick by Mitchell Drummond ends up with the visitors winning a penalty for a player being in front of the kicker.

43.00: PENALTY! Hayden Parker judges his kick perfectly. 14-8

44.00: Kazuki Himeno wins the turnover inside his 22. The counter-attack works when Delany knocks on. Labuschagne kicks forward and George Bridge is tackled over his goal-line. Five-metre scrum to the visitors.

47.00: The Sunwolves cannot make anything of their great field possession because Yoshitaka Tokunaga loses the ball forward.

49.00: The Crusaders turn the ball over but the Japanese get the scrum, five metres out and under the posts.

50.00: The Crusaders are penalised for an early engagement. The Visitors opt for the posts.

51.00: PENALTY! Parker reduces the deficit to three. 14-11

54.00: Tokunaga is penalised for sacking the maul. The penalties are mounting against the Sunwolves. Scott Barrett loses the throw and the visitors attack.

57.00: TRY! Crotty dances through the defenders to score. Tim Bateman and Quinten Strange combined with two breaks and an offload to set up Crotty’s five-pointer. 19-11

58.00: CONVERSION! Delany adds his third kick. 21-11

61.00: The Sunwolves win the turnover and are on the counter-attack, however, they conceded possession far too easily and are defending in their half.

62.00: TRY! Manasa Mataele takes Bateman’s offload and streaks away through a big hole. There was nobody at home for the Sunwolves. 26-11

63.00: MISS! Delany’s kick is wide. 26-11

65.00: William Tupou wins the ball. Sam Wykes goes close but is tackled short. The ball is lost forwards and a few phases later, they win the ruck penalty.

67.00: Oh dear! Wykes loses the ball forwards after winning the turnover at the breakdown.

75.00: The Crusaders go 23 phases before Labuschagne is pinged for offsides. The visitors’ defence has been superb in the face of the Crusaders onslaught.

78.00: Moore is penalised for a dangerous tackle. The Crusaders kick to the corner.

79.00: Andrew Makalio knocks on near the goal-line, giving the Sunwolves a defensive scrum on their 5m. The visitors have been superb, tonight, although the conditions have been a great leveller.

80.00: TRY! Jack Stratton races away for a debut Super Rugby try after taking Bridge’s pass. 31-11

82.00: CONVERSION! Mitch Hunt slots the kick. 33-11


In the meantime why not have a look at the match preview.

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The final score: Crusaders 33 (14) Sunwolves 11 (5)


Tries – Crotty (2), Todd, Mataele, Stratton
Pen –
Con – Delany (3), Hunt
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Little
Pen – Parker (2)
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 1: Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant Ref 2: Cam Stone
TMO: Glenn Newman



15 George Bridge, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Manasa Mataele, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Tim Perry.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Harry Allan, 18 Chris King, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Jack Stratton, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Seta Tamanivalu.


15 William Tupou, 14 Hosea Saumaki, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Michael Little, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Pieter Labuschagne (captain), 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 James Moore, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Craig Millar.

Replacements: 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Shintato Ishihara, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Sam Wykes, 20 Edward Quirk, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Ryoto Nakamura, 23 Semisi Masirewa.

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