Crusaders

Carter kicks Crusaders to Super 14 title victory

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All Blacks flyhalf Daniel Carter kicked four penalties and a dropped goal to guide the Crusaders to a 20-12 win over the Waratahss in Saturday’s Super 14 rugby final, claiming their seventh title in 13 years.


The Crusaders were outscored two tries to one by the Waratahs but their otherwise spotless defensive performance and Carter’s 15 points ended coach Robbie Deans’ eight-year tenure with a valedictory championship.


Deans has coached the Crusaders since 2000 and shared Saturday in his fifth of their seven titles.


He leaves immediately to take up his new role as Australia’s national coach and will inevitably include many of the Waratahs in his first Wallabies squad to be named within days.


Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie, who was also to step down from his position after Saturday’s match, guided his team to their second final appearance -the first was in Christchurch in 2005 – but was again left without a championship crown.


The Waratahs disconcerted the Crusaders with two first half tries to winger Lachlan Turner, going to halftime with an unexpected 12-11 lead.


The Crusaders held the Waratahs scoreless in the second half and built on the momentum of a late first-half try to provide opportunities for Carter to kick them to the title.


“We knew if we kept our composure at the start of the second half, the points would come. We kept our composure and that’s what happened,” said the Crusaders captain Richie McCaw.


“We had played a lot of the rugby. When you’ve got the ball and you’re breathing pretty hard, well you hope that they are too, making all those tackles,” he said, acknowledging his side stepped up to another level while Brad Thorn was sin-binned in the second half.


Carter scored the first points of the match, a penalty from a collapsed scrum in the third minute, but the Waratahs turned pre-match predictions on their head when Turner’s two tries gave them a 12-3 lead after 25 minutes.


The Wallabies winger scored his first try in the seventh minute when he timed his run onto an accurate crosskick from flyhalf Kurtley Beale and snatched the ball out of the air over the head of Carter, who was the solitary defender.


Turner scored again in the 25th minute when an intercept by Waratahs captain Phil Waugh turned defense into counter-attack. The ball moved quickly to Turner’s wing and he chip kicked over the defense, followed up and nudged the ball over the goalline, touching down ahead of the defense.


Beale added a conversion that widened the margin to nine points.


Carter kicked his second penalty in the 32nd minute and the Crusaders put themselves back in the match with a try to No.8 Mose Tuiali’i four minutes from halftime.


The Crusaders attacked first down the left flank through winger Kade Poki, then moved the ball to the opposite side where quick passes from Thorn and McCaw put Tuiali’i outside the last defender.


The home side led for the first time in 41 minutes when Carter kicked his third penalty in the fourth minute of the second half. He widened the lead with his first dropped goal of the season in the 70th minute and made the game safe with a penalty six minutes from fulltime.


The Crusaders seemed to have another try when prop Wyatt Crockett touched down after a sprawling movement in the 56th minute but the score was disallowed because Thorn was seen to have punched Waratahs lock Dan Vickerman off the ball during the build-up.


Thorn received a yellow card but the Waratahs were unable to score during his 10 minutes in the sin-bin.


“We just didn’t score a point in the second half. I said before the game it was about playing the full 80 minutes but after leading at halftime we didn’t go on with it,” Waugh said.


“They deserve to win the title, they won the round robin convincingly and we were outplayed tonight so good on them.”


The match had a bizarre aftermath. A horse used in pre-match entertainment, spooked by exploding fireworks, escaped from its owner and dashed around the field among players and officials. No-one was hurt and the animal was recaptured uninjured.

 

Final Score Crusaders 20 Waratahs 12  

 

Scorers

 

Crusaders

Tries – Mose Tuiali’i

Pen – Dan Carter (4)

Con –

Cards – Brad Thorn
Drop – Dan Carter

 

Waratahs

Tries –  Lachie Turner (2)

Pen –

Con – Kurtley Beale

 

Venue : AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Date : Saturday May 31, 7.35pm
Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)
Assistant Referee One: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant Referee Two: Cobus Wessels (South Africa)
Television Match Official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Teams:


Crusaders:

Leon MacDonald, Kade Poki, Casey Laulala, Tim Bateman, Scott Hamilton, Daniel Carter, Andy Ellis, Mose Tuiali’i, Richie McCaw (captain), Kieran Read, Ali Williams, Brad Thorn, Greg Somerville, Ti’i Paulo, Wyatt Crockett.
Reserves: Steve Fualau, Ben Franks, Reuben Thorne, Nasi Manu, Kahn Fotuali’i, Stephen Brett, Sean Maitland.

 

Waratahs:

Sam Norton-Knight, Lachie Turner, Rob Horne, Tom Carter, Lote Tuqiri, Kurtley Beale, Luke Burgess, Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh (captain), Rocky Elsom, Dan Vickerman, Dean Mumm, Al Baxter, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson.

Reserves: Adam Freier, Matt Dunning, Will Caldwell, Beau Robinson, Brett Sheehan, Matt Carraro, Timana Tahu.

 

Sapa-AP – Super14.com

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