Crusaders dominate Tah’s to remain unbeaten


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The Crusaders remained unbeaten after six rounds of Super 14 rugby by beating the Waratahs in Christchurch by 34 points to 7.

The Waratahs scored the first try of the match when in the 50th minute Wycliff Palu scored for the Tah’s. His try was converted by Kurtley Beale and after 52 minutes the Waratahs were leading the Crusaders for the first time.

The lead didn’t last long as the Crusaders proceeded to run in four tries to score the bonus point and dominate the match.

The Crusaders led 6-0 at halftime, with only two penalties to Daniel Carter to show for domination of territory and possession, but ran away with the match in the second half as The Waratahs’ defensive performance steadily weakened.

Coach Robbie Deans called for a more patient approach from his team at halftime and the tactic worked as The Crusaders held the ball through long phases of play and eventually broke down the resilient Waratahs defense.

“We knew if we could hold onto the ball the opportunities would come,” captain Richie McCaw said.

“That’s the way it goes with tough games of rugby. They can be very close for a long time then open up in the last five or 10 minutes.” Laulala’s try in the 53rd minute opened the door for the Crusaders who established a 13-7 lead.

“Given confidence, they began to use the ball more efficiently and productively and quickly followed up with tries in the 64th, 71st and 78th minutes.

Tuiali’ drove over after the Crusaders held the ball through a long series of phases close to the the Waratahs line, Crockett scored in similar circumstances and Hamilton fielded a high kick, knocked back into play by lock Brad Thorn, to give the Crusaders a bonus point.

The Waratahs held its own in most areas with the Crusaders through the first 60 minutes of the match.

“We tried out hearts out,” captain Phil Waugh said. “It’s hard to explain how a match can be so even but then one team can score four tries to one.”

The Waratahs played a strong defensive game in the first half, tackling well and working to deny the Crusaders chances to score from broken or disrupted play. The tactic worked well but at the same time the Waratahs’ conservative approach limited their own scoring chances.

When the Waratahs tried to open up the game after Palu’s try, the Crusaders quickly capitalized.

“We should have consolidated after that try but instead they took the game away from us,” Waugh said.

Final score Crusaders 34 Waratahs 7 




Tries – Casey Laulala,Mose Tuiali’i, Wyatt Crockett, Scott Hamilton
Pen – Dan Carter (2)
Con – Dan Carter (4)



Tries – Wycliff Palu
Pen –
Con – Kurtley Beale


Friday March 21
AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Crusaders v Waratahs
Craig Joubert (SA)
Asst. referees: Chris Pollock (NZ), Christie du Preez (SA)
TMO: Kane McBride (NZ)
Assessor: Stuart Beissel (NZ)



15. Scott Hamilton , 14. Kade Poki , 13. Casey Laulala ,12. Tim Bateman ,11. Caleb Ralph ,10. Daniel Carter ,9. Andrew Ellis
8. Mose Tuiali’i , 7. Richard McCaw (Canterbury, captain), 6. Kieran Read ,5. Ali Williams ,4. Brad Thorn ,3. Greg Somerville
2. Corey Flynn , 1. Ben Franks

Reserves:16. Ti’i Paulo , 17. Wyatt Crockett , 18. Michael Paterson , 19. Nasi Manu , 20. Kahn Fotuali’i , 21. Hamish Gard , 22. Sean Maitland


1. Sekope Kepu,2. Adam Freier,3. Matt Dunning,4. Dean Mumm,5. Dan Vickerman,6. Rocky Elsom,7. Phil Waugh [c]^,8. Wycliff Palu,9. Brett Sheehan,10. Kurtley Beale,11. Lote Tuqiri,12. Tom Carter,13. Ben Jacobs,14. Alfi Mafi,15. Lachie Turner

Reserves:16. Tatafu Polota-Nau,17. Al Baxter ,18. Will Caldwell,
19. Beau Robinson,20. Josh Valentine*,21. Sam Harris,22. Rob Horne,23rd Man ‘ Benn Robinson

^ 91st NSW Cap ‘ fifth highest all time
* 50th Super Rugby Cap (if used)

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