Super Rugby

Crusaders beat Lions in Christchurch

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The Crusaders have played the Lions 21 times in Super Rugby since 1998, the Crusaders have won 17 matches and lost four.

The Crusaders 17 wins from 21 matches give them a record of winning 81% against the Lions regardless of venue.

  • The Saders have won 10 of their last 11 games against the Lions in Super Rugby (L1), the sole Lions victory coming in a 2016 Super Rugby finals playoff (42-25).
  • The Crusaders will be playing for 25 consecutive Super Rugby victories at home; their club record is 26 straight wins on home soil stretching from 2004 to 2007.
  • The Lions’ victory a week ago against the Chiefs was their first in New Zealand since Round 2, 2016 (L5)
  • The Johannesburg side has never won consecutive Super Rugby matches in New Zealand.
  • No side has scored more tries this campaign after winning a turnover than the Lions (8, level with the Hurricanes), while no team has scored more tries following kick returns than the Crusaders (6, also level with the Hurricanes).
  • Will Jordan has scored a joint-high eight tries this year, level with Jack Maddocks (Rebels) and Rieko Ioane (Blues), crossing the try line once every 44 minutes on average.

Match detail

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1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Christchurch after an emotional Minute’s Silence in honour of the ANZAC Day service.

2.00: David Havili is bundled into touch on the Lions’ 22.

4.00: The Crusaders are building the phases, but they lose the ball in contact and the Lions clear. Another knock on, this time by Kieran Reed gives Lions the possession.

5.00: TRY! Sevu Reece – joins from the blindside wing – sucks in two defenders before putting Braydon Ennor through a hole to open the scoring. 5-0

6.00: CONVERSION! Richie Mo’unga, playing in his 50th Super Rugby match, adds the extras. 7-0

8.00: The Lions are under the pump. Kwagga Smith turns the ball over sparking a Crusaders’ counter-attack which almost sees the home team over the whitewash again.

9.00: Lionel Mapoe is caught out for offsides – it’s a poor call by the ref – after Smith redeemed himself at the previous breakdown. Mo’unga will have a shot at goal.

10.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga cannot miss from in front. 10-0

12.00: The Lions have good field position after a 10-phase attack.

13.00: Nic Groom’s grubber is collected by Havili. The Crusaders try to get off their line with some big runners around the ruck, but Havili drops the ball trying to clear, giving the Lions a five-metre scrum.

15.00: Two reset scrums as the front rows feel each other, out.

16.00: The Lions win the scrum-penalty and opt to kick to the corner.

18.00: A nine-phase attack by the Lions earns them another penalty after Havili is caught offsides.

19.00: PENALTY! Elton Jantjies puts his side on the board. 10-3

22.00: The Crusaders win the penalty and keep opting for scrums. The Lions are under the cosh because they were not able to get seven, and the hosts are in their 22 straight after the restart.

25.00: Crusaders using their big runners; the pick-and-drive game is pretty good. It’s slow build-up but they are – slowly moving towards the Lions’ goal-line.

27.00: BIG DEFENCE! The Lions see out the siege. The Kiwis went 27 phases from the previous scrum. The Home team were creeping towards their second try, but some excellent work by Kwagga Smith sees off the attack.

28.00: The Lions need to exit, and soon. They cannot afford to concede points at this stage.

29.00: BIG SCRUM! Joe Moody collapses the scrum, his left knee hit the ground and the ref had no option but to blow for the infringement. Lions clear to their 10m.

31.00: The South Africans will lose this game if they keep giving away possession cheaply. They cannot sustain the pressure they are under for a full 80 minutes. The Lions have already made more than double the amount of tackles than their opponents (84 to 34).

32.00: The Lions win the turnover and clear the ball near the Saders’ 22.

33.00: HELD UP! The Lions hold up Sam Whitelock in the maul. Cyle Brink and Robbie Coetzee doing the damage in the tight. Superb by the away forwards.

34.00: Mr Paul Williams has had enough, he stops the clock and calls over the front rows to tell them to stop messing around in the engagement.

35.00: TRY! Crazy series of play! Aphiwe Dyantyi wins the turnover after tackling Ryan Crotty. The ball is recycled, but the Lions throw a stray pass inside their 22, and the Crusaders win the turnover, go wide to Reece, who bounces Smith. He is not held and using his momentum, he gets up to dot down in the corner. 15-3

36.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga slots the touchline kick. 17-3

38.00: The Lions need some points before the break because this game is over if they do not come away with anything.

39.00: Scrum-penalty goes to the Lions; they kick to touch just outside the Saders’ 22.

42.00: OH DEAR! The Saffas lose possession after being held up in the maul. The home team survives, and run to the shed for a quick breather.

The halftime score was Crusaders 17 Lions 3

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Lions have it all to do if they want to salvage an unlikely away victory in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

42.00: The visitors conceded a penalty that allows Mo’unga to kick to the 5m.

43.00: TURNOVER! Superb defending by the Lions, their scramble defence around the rolling maul was magnificent as the hold the opposition up.

44.00: SCRUM-PENALTY! Another scrum-penalty to the tourists; they bulldozed their opposition and win the penalty which allows them to clear the danger.

46.00: Marnus Schoeman gives away a penalty, but Smith’s good work at the driving maul saves the day for the moment.

48.00: Brink concedes the penalty; Mo’unga kicks to the corner.

49.00: TRY! George Bridge finishes off a wonderful lineout move. Billy Harmon breaks to the openside and offloads to Bridge, who had followed the flanker’s run from the left wing to score his 26th Super Rugby try. 22-3

50.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga adds the extras. 24-3

51.00: TRY! George Bridge has a brace after a counter-attack from his own 22. Mitchell Drummond broke from the 22 and played Ennor on his outside. The centre raced into the Lions half before putting the supporting Bridge away. Wow! 29-3

52.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. Game over! 31-3

53.00: TRY! Ruan Combrinck intercepts a stray pass and runs 50 metres to score. 31-8

54.00: CONVERSION! Jantjies adds the extras. 31-10

57.00: TRY! Reece has a double! The winger collected his own grubber to slide over near the corner. Havili’s move to midifeld is seamless, setting up the attack. Jordan Taufua gathered Havili’sd offload and sent Reece down the touchline. Some good handling by the forwards to combine with the backs ends with another score for the big wing. 36-10

59.00: MISS! Mo’unga with a rare miss cannot add the two. 36-10

63.00: The Lions have had to make 136 tackles to 65, and it shows. They do win another scrum-penalty which allows Jantjies to put the ball out inside the opposition’s 22.

65.00: A quick-throw by the Lions ends with Read winning the penalty at the breakdown. The visitors are ragged, now. They just need to keep the score down.

67.00: The tourists are enjoying a good series of attacks inside the Crusaders’ half. Dyantyi is down after a big hit by Ngane Punivai.

70.00; Mapoe charges down a kick, and the Lions have possession on the Sades’ try-line.

73.00: The game has lost its formation, both teams are playing with abandon but not able to keep the ball in hand. Lots of errors have crept in as the players start to tire.

77.00: The game is petering out, more mistakes by the teams continue to hamper scoring opportunities.

79.00: The Crusaders are camped inside the Lions’ 22. They are moving through the phases looking for to bring up the forty burger.

81.00: After nine phases, that man Smith, wins another turnover at the breakdown. The clear to their 10m.

83,00: They win a penalty at the ruck; they will not go away.

84.00: Ben Funnell kicks the ball into the stands – game over!

FULL TIME

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The final score is Crusaders 36 (17) Lions 10 (3)

Scorers

Crusaders
Tries – Ennor, Reece (2), Bridge (2)
Pen – Mo’unga
Con – Mo’unga (4)
Drop –
Cards –

Lions
Tries – Combrinck
Pen – Jantjies
Con – Jantjies
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2: James Munro
TMO: Aaron Paterson

Teams

Crusaders

15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Quinten Strange, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.

Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Harry Allan, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Mitchell Dunshea, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Ere Enari, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Ngane Punivai.

Lions

15 Ruan Combrinck, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Elton Jantjies, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Kwagga Smith (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Sti Sithole.

Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Franco Naude, 23 Tyrone Green.

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