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Crusaders extend winning streak over Blues

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The Crusaders extended their Super rugby winning streak over the Blues to seven straight wins with a 24-32 victory at Eden Park in Auckland.

The Crusaders victory puts them back on top of the Super Rugby standings ahead of the Welington based Hurricanes who took the lead with their victory over the Reds on Friday.

The Crusaders are Super rugby’s overall leaders but they only have a one point lead over the Wellington side who have played one match less.

Both teams scored four tries each and the difference came down to conversions and penalty kicks.

Stephen Perofeta was succesful with two of his conversions whilee Richie Mo’unga landed three of his four conversion attempts and two penalties.

Against the Wartatahs last week the Crusaders made a bumbling start but this week they put that behind them and had crossed for their first try in the second minute when George Bridge crossed the line.

Just as the Waratahs scored 29 points in the first half last week, in this week’s match the Crusaders dominated he first half and ironically had scored 29 points by half time. The Blues had scored 12 by half time.

The powerful Crusaders pack kept the Blues defensive structure under pressure for most of the first half as Quinten Strange, Matt Todd and Bryn Hall crossed the line.

The Blues points came through tries to Matt Duffie and Rieko Ioane who was the Auckland side’s stand out player.

In the second half the Blues tightened up on the defensive side and were rewarded with a try by Michael Collins.

The Crusaders dominated territory in the second half but were only able to add a single Mo’unga penalty throughout the second 40 minutes.

As the match reached the final quarter the Blues launched a couple of attacks the last of which was by All Black Rieko Ioane but they came to nothing and the Crusaders seemed happy to wind down the clock and save themselves.

Next week in the fifteenth round the Crusaders host their closest rivals the Hurricanes in Christchurch while the Blues have a bye.

The Crusaders clash with the Hurricanes will be a real test for the current champions as the Hurricanes were the first team to beat them this season.

Final Score Blues 24 (12) Crusaders 32 (29)

Scorers

Blues
Tries – M.Duffie, M.Nanai, R. Ioane, M.Collins
Pen –
Con – S.Perofeta 2
Drop –
Cards –

Crusaders
Tries – G.Bridge, Q.Strange 2, B.Hall
Pen – R.Mo’unga 2
Con – R.Mo’unga 3
Drop –
Cards -Q.Strange (yellow 45th min)

Match Officials
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1: Cam Stone
Assistant Ref 2: Angus Mabey
TMO: Shane McDermott

Teams

Blues

15. Matt Duffie, 14. Melani Nanai, 13. Orbyn Leger, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 11. Rieko Ioane, 10. Stephen Perofeta, 9. Augustine Pulu ©; 8. Akira Ioane, 7. Dalton Papalii or Murphy Taramai, 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Matiaha Martin, 4. Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3. Ofa Tuungafasi, 2. James Parsons, 1. Pauliasi Manu.

Replacements: 16. Matt Moulds, 17. Ross Wright, 18. Sione Mafileo, 19. Ben Nee-Nee, 20. Murphy Taramai or Antonio Kiri Kiri, 21. Jonathan Ruru, 22. Dan Kirkpatrick, 23 Michael Collins.

Crusaders

1. Tim Perry, 2. Codie Taylor3. Owen Franks ,4. Scott Barrett , 5. Quinten Strange , 6. Heiden Bedwell-Curtis , 7. Matt Todd (C), 8. Jordan Taufua, 9. Bryn Hall, 10. Richie Mo’unga , 11. George Bridge , 12. Ryan Crotty (VC) , 13. Jack Goodhue , 14. Seta Tamanivalu , 15. David Havili

Replacements : 16. Andrew Makalio,17. Wyatt Crockett ,18. Michael Alaalatoa , 19. Mitchell Dunshea ,20. Pete Samu , 21. Mitchell Drummond , 22. Mitchell Hunt , 23. Manasa Mataele

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