Super Rugby

Crusaders beat the Force in Christchurch



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The Crusaders have played the Western Force 10 times since the Perth Super Rugby franchise joined Super Rugby in 2006 and they have won six matches and drawn two.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

The teams are walking out onto the pitch. Temperature is 11 degrees.

Tatafu Polota-Nau makes his 145th Super Rugby Appearance aginst the Crusaders.

Conquest of Paradise rings around the ground as Jono Lance gets us underway in round 5.


2.00: The Crusaders take the ball 80 metres and 15 phases before losing it with a knock on deep inside the Force’s 22m.

3.00: TRY! Digby Ioane goes over untouched under the posts after receiving the ball from Mitchell Drummond, who made a break on the edge of the ruck after Jono Lance missed touch. The scrumhalf drew Luke Morahan and sent the wing over for the score.

4.00: Hunt adds the two points.

6.00: PENALTY! The Force win a penalty from an offside near the goal line. Lance steps up for a kick and it’s good.

8.00: Crusaders opt for touch after winning a penalty. Sam Whitelock wins the ball and the home team drive the visitors across the field. The Force bring the maul down, ref plays advantage but, the cross-kick is out on the full. Crusaders take the scrum.

10.00: Rohan Hoffmann warns Lance about repeated infringements. This time Ryan Louwrens penalised for offside. Another scrum.

12.00: Scrum is reset. The Crusaders are fielding an all All Black front row in Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett. Force are under intense pressure.

14.00: Crusaders break to the open side.  Ioane takes a crash ball but is stopped inches short of the try-line. The Referee is checking for a try; if the ball was placed at the base of the post.

15.00: TRY! TMO Shane McDermott awards the try after the ball was not lost forward in the act of grounding. Matt Todd the man who gets up with the ball. Hunt can’t miss and the lead is already 11 points inside the opening quarter.

17: Crusaders attack, going through the phases.

18.00: TRY! OH NO! Try scorer Matt Todd throws an intercept inside his own half. Alex Newsome runs in untouched to dot down under the posts. That was a poor mistake by the lock.

19.00: Lance with the easy conversion.

21.00: TRY! The Crusaders crash over from close range after a 5-metre lineout. Scott Barrett goes high but, somehow, manages to get over the whitewash. What a game!

22.00: Hunt from just to the right of the posts restores the hosts’ 11-point lead.

25.00: The Crusaders keep coming, this could be a long day for the Aussies.

26.00: TRY? That might be number four for the home team but, the referee has gone to the TMO to check if it is either, a 22 or try? Alex Newsome looks to have dotted the ball.

26.00: TRY! That looks to be a wrong call. Luke Romano has been credited with the try. The ball was deemed out of the ruck and the flanker just flops onto the loose ball. How has the TMO awarded that?

27.00: Hunt makes it four from four and the Crusaders are scoring a point a minute in Christchurch.

29.00: The Force are on the attack in a promising position but are pinged for holding at the ruck. Crusaders clear their lines and gain 60 metres.

30.00: BIG HIT! Kane Koteka is knocked down after Jordan Taufua runs over him. He’s been taken off for a HIA but, that was massive; not sure if he’ll return. Matt Hodgson is on for the flanker.

33.00: The Force attack but can’t penetrate the Crusaders’ line. Eventually, they win a penalty after the home team get penalised for not rolling away. Cynical and the ref issues a warning to Whitelock.

34.00: Koteka will not return and has failed the HIA. Scrum ‘Saders after a slight knock forward. That’s twice that the visitors have had good go-forward ball inside the Crusaders’ 22 but, have turned the ball over.

36.00: PENALTY! After a couple of scrum resets, Wyatt Crockett is pinged for losing his bind. The force opt for another scrum.

37.00: PENALTY! Crockett is penalised again. The loose-head must be careful, the next infringement will be a yellow card. That’s four penalties in four minutes. The ref is talking to both front rows. Rohan Hoffmann tells both teams that he’s had enough and will be sending players to the bin.

39.00: TRY? TMO being consulted. Hoffmann has awarded the try, just checking the grounding. Lance takes a crash ball and the Force, seem to have scored. Alex Newsome spins out of a tackle and gets the ball on the line. The TMO wants to look back a few phases, though.

41.00: TRY! It’s awarded but, was there an obstruction. Peni’s angled run from Lance’s inside ball, gives the Force their second five-pointer on the stroke of halftime. Lance adds the extras as the teams go into the break. Phew!

The halftime score was Crusaders 28 Force 17

Force coach David Wessels feels his team has been unlucky but, says, their defence needs to be better and they need to score points to win in Christchurch.

BEEP! We are back underway for the second half.

42.00: Scrum Force but, it collapses. Jermaine Ainsley is down and looks in pain. It looks to be a collarbone or shoulder. The prop is being placed on the cart and is off.

43.00: Force kick to touch but, it’s not out and the ball comes back with interest. That’s the send time Lance has missed touch, the first ended in a score for the hosts.

44.00: ANOTHER PENALTY! This time Lance kicks the ball onto the stadium roof.

45.00: Force on the attack at the halfway line. Codie Taylor is leading the game with 15 tackles so far for the Crusaders.

46.00: Crusaders have a line-out on the Force; Tim Perry and Michael Alaalatoa are on in the front row for the home team.

48.00: Pek Cowan is on for the Force who, are defending their line after conceding another penalty.

50.00: TRY! Codie Taylor’s defensive effort is awarded with a walk-over try from a driving maul. The hooker goes over for a simple score in the corner.

51.00: Taylor goes off after his try and is replaced by Tim Perry. Hunt misses the conversion from out wide.

53.00: Bryn Hall comes on for Mitchell Drummond. The Crusaders are defending a five-metre scrum. TRY? NO, it’s held up.

54.00: Mitchell Hunt saves the day and gets under the ball. The visitors have another scrum on the 5, 15 metres in from touch.

55.00: PENALTY! Another infringement at the scrum. Force go again.

58.00: PENALTY! Surely someone from the Crusaders needs to be in the sin-bin.

59.00: Hoffmann calls time off. The referee calls the new Crusaders front row for a stern talking to. It’s been a six-minute scrum.

60.00: PENALTY! YELLOW CARD! Perry pops up in the scrum and is sent to the sideline. Wyatt Crockett comes back for what must be the tenth scrum.

61.00: PENALTY! It’s turning into a farce. The Crusaders are down to a seven-man scrum and the Force are penalised for a collapsed scrum, instead, of winning a penalty try. Wow!

63.00: Some aerial ping-pong but, the Aussies still attack.

65.00: Another penalty is kicked to touch by Lance. Tim Bateman goes off and is replaced by Manasa Mataele.

67.00: TMO called into action again for a tackle without the ball. Hunt tackles Ryan Louwrens without the ball but, it’s not a penalty try. PENALTY! About eight metres out, Force question the call but have a scrum.

68.00: The Force take a quick-tap penalty but, lose it forward. Perry is back on.

71.00: PENALTY! YELLOW CARD! Mitchell Dunshea is sent to the bin. Crusaders have a line-out on the Force 5.

72.00: TRY! David Havili scores after a short ball Bryn Hall. Game over. Marty McKenzie adds the two points.

76.00: The game is quietly coming to its conclusion and the Crusaders will be five from five. They have not conceded a last quarter try all season.

80.00: TRY! The horn sounds as the line-out is taken and the Crusaders show immense strength as they maul themselves over the line. Ben Funnel gets up with the ball.

BEEP, BEEP! That is another win for the Kiwi team.

Live In-Play Betting.

The final score is Crusaders 45 (28) Force 17 (17)


Tries – Ioane, Todd, Barrett, Romano, Taylor, Havili, Funnell
Pen –
Con – Hunt (4), McKenzie
Drop –
Cards – Yellow (Perry, 60th minute)

Tries – Newsome, Peni
Pen – Lance
Con – Lance (2)
Drop –
Cards – Yellow (Dunshea, 71st minute)

Match Officials
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant Ref 1: Richard Kelly
Assistant Ref 2: Angus Mabey
TMO: Shane McDermott



15 David Havili, 14 Digby Ioane, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Ryan Crotty (vc), 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Scott Barrett, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks,2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.

Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Mitchell Dunshea, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Manasa Mataele.

Western Force

15 Luke Morahan, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Jono Lance (captain), 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Isi Naisarani, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Ben Daley.

Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Richie Arnold*, 20 Matt Hodgson, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Ian Prior, 23 Robbie Coleman.

*Denotes possible Super Rugby Debut

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