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Rampant Crusaders run wild against Reds

Sam Whitelock on the charge for the Crusaders

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Article Published: Sunday 21 July 2013|

The Crusaders booked a place in the Super Rugby Semi-finals when they hammered the Reds 38-9 in Christchurch in their qualifying play off.

The Crusaders outscored the 2011 Super Rugby champions by four tries to none in the match.

The Crusaders have never lost a play off match at home in Super Rugby history and have now won their last five matches against all opposition this year.

The Crusaders will now wait to see who wins the Brumbies vs Cheetahs match on Sunday to find out whether they will play the Chiefs in Hamilton or the Bulls in Pretoria.

The Bulls will play the highest ranked team between the Brumbies, Crusaders and Cheetahs so this result means that if the Brumbies beat the Cheetahs in the second Super Rugby qualifier on Sunday they will play the Bulls next week and the Crusaders would play the Chiefs as the Crusaders finished in fourth place and the Brumbies in third place.

Should the Cheetahs win they will play the Chiefs in Hamilton and the Crusaders will play the Bulls in Pretoria.

The Crusaders will face either of those assignments with confidence after Saturday's comprehensive win as from the start they physically overpowered the Reds in every area.

The result also means that Ewen McKenzie's time with the Reds is over and he will now take over as Wallabies coach.

The Reds had not won in Christchurch since 1999 and had hoped to come away with a cleansweep against New Zealand teams in 2013 as they had already beaten the other four Kiwi Super Rugby teams.

The match also saw All Black and regular Crusaders captain Richie McCaw win his first Super Rugby cap this year as he came on with 15 minutes left on the stadium clock.

All Black star Dan Carter scored the second of four tries by the Christchurch-based Crusaders and kicked three conversions and three penalties - six goals from eight attempts - to reward his team's physical domination of the Reds, who were champions two years ago.

Ryan Crotty scored first try in the 10th minute, running off a pass from Carter who took the ball to the gain-line from a five-meter scrum.

Carter scored his own try in the 30th minute after an outstanding lone break by Sam Whitelock, carried on with quick passes by Israel Dagg and Zac Guildford.

Winger Tom Marshall scored in the 51st minute after Crockett had split open the Reds defence and linked with Todd, who provided the last pass to the try-scorer.

The Reds were almost cowed when Reid and Carter combined in the buildup to Crotty's second try 15 minutes from fulltime.

The Crusaders dominated the contact area with powerful tackles, with physical force and with technique which brought them seven breakdown turnovers.

They were able to advance beyond the gain-line at every venture, brushing aside the Reds ineffective interior defence.

When they did so, creating even partial breaks, there were players in ready support and all Crusaders - backs and forwards - had the level of skill to keep the ball alive and offload in tackles.

Backrowers George Whitelock, Kieran Read and Matt Todd easily thrust their way through tackles then picked out supporting players with well-timed passes.

But even tight forwards such as prop Wyatt Crockett and lock Sam Whitelock - the latter one of the most energetic players on the field - had the ability to brush past the shoulders of Queensland tacklers, to extend their arms and feed the ball to teammates in space.

Carter ran vigorously into contact and either passed or established quick and accurate phase play.

There was a stark comparison in the record of his opposite number, out of favor Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper, who was so reluctant to take the ball into contact he wasn't once tackled in the first half, nor did he make a tackle one-on-one.

The only Reds players to make a significant impact were scrumhalf Will Genia, who placed himself defensively in the backfield to take Crusaders' kicks and who was steady in that effort.

Lock James Horwill returned to the Reds' lineup, along with Genia, after leading the Wallabies in their three-test series against the British and Irish Lions.

He had an unusually subdued game, hovering mostly in midfield, and was substituted after only 60 minutes.

In contrast, All Blacks captain Richie McCaw took the field as a replacement in the 65th minute to end an eight month "sabbatical" absence from top-line rugby.

He carried the ball over the advantage line with his first touch, helping to set up the Crusaders' final try and the second of the night to center Crotty.

The Crusaders will now attempt to end a title drought which goes back to 2008 when they won their seventh championship: following those they achieved in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2006.

Final Score Crusaders 38 (21) Reds 9 (6)


Tries - R.Crotty 2, D. Carter, T.Marshall.
Pen - D.Carter 3, T.Taylor
Con - D.Carter 3
Drop -
Cards -

Tries -
Pen - Q.Cooper 3
Con -
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Ref 1: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand),
Assistant Ref 2:Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
TMO : Vinny Munro (New Zealand)



1. Wyatt Crockett 2. Corey Flynn 3. Owen Franks 4. Luke Romano, 5. Sam Whitelock 6. George Whitelock ,7. Matt Todd ,8. Kieran Read (c) ,9. Andy Ellis ,10. Dan Carter ,11. Zac Guildford ,12. Tom Taylor ,13. Ryan Crotty ,14. Tom Marshall , 15. Israel Dagg

Replacements : 16. Ben Funnell 17. Joe Moody 18. Luke Whitelock 19. Richie McCaw 20. Willi Heinz 21. Tyler Bleyendaal 22. Adam Whitelock


1. Greg Holmes,2. Saia Faingaa,3. James Slipper,4. Rob Simmons,5. James Horwill (c),6. Eddie Quirk,7. Liam Gill,8. Jake Schatz,9. Will Genia (vc),10. Quade Cooper,11. Chris Feauai-Sautia,12. Jono Lance,13. Ben Tapuai,14. Dom Shipperley,15. Ben Lucas

Replacements : 16. Albert Anae,17. Jono Owen,18. Ed O'Donoghue,19. Radike Samo,20. Beau Robinson,21. Nick Frisby,22. Luke Morahan

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