The Crusaders have played the Sharks 22 times in Super Rugby since 1998, the Crusaders have won 18 matches and lost 4 times.
The Saders’ 18 wins out of 22 matches give them a record of winning 82% against the Sharks regardless of venue.
- The Crusaders have won nine of their last 11 Super Rugby fixtures against the Sharks, including each of the last four in a row.
- Crusaders have won their last 25 home games, one more victory would equal their best ever run at home in Super Rugby which they set between March 2004 and April 2007.
- The Sharks have won in New Zealand on 21 occasions, no other side from outside New Zealand has travelled there and won as often.
- The Crusaders have gained 494m and made 15 clean breaks per game in Super Rugby 2019, more than any other team.
- Daniel du Preez (Sharks) has carried the ball 116 times in Super Rugby 2019, the second most of any player and 34 more than Crusaders’ best David Havili (82).
- The Durban franchise last won in Christchurch in 2014 under World Cup-winning coach Jake White.
We are waiting for the kickoff.
Kieren Read leads the Crusaders out with his children – one of which it is all too much – for his 150th Super Rugby match. Read is the fourth Sader to reach 150 games for the franchise.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Christchurch for the first Super Rugby match of Round 12.
2.00: The Sharks are pressing, early. They are going through the phases before Curwin Bosch goes to the boot. Makazole Mapimpi gathered but was tackled into touch.
4.00: Mapimpi wins an intercept, which starts a counter-attack. The winger chases a kick and tackles Will Jordan into touch. Lineout to the visitors near the Saders’ 22.
6.00: Michael Alaalatoa sacks the maul illegally, conceding the penalty. Bosch will take a shot from near the sideline.
7.00: MISS! The ball hits the posts and bounces out. The Crusaders run the ball out of their 22, but concede another penalty after another turnover. The home side missed an opportunity with the overlap. Bosch, from the same position but on the opposite side of the field, will have another go.
9.00: PENALTY! Bosch opens the scoring for the Sharks. 0-3
11.00: TRY! The Crusaders go 11 phases from the restart before Codie Taylor scores. The hooker picked up and dived for the post, putting the ball against the pad for his third try of the season. 5-3
13.00: CONVERSION! Mitch Hunt adds the extras. 7-3
14.00: Bosch is going to the boot at almost every opportunity once the visitors are inside the opposition’s half.
15.00: The Crusaders disrupt the maul, holding the maul, up. It was rather lucky for the hosts because Kerron van Vuuren had got his knee to the ground before the referee jumped the gun.
16.00: Free kick to the Crusaders for early engagement by the men in white.
17.00: A poor kick gives the Sharks a lineout on the 22. The tourists go to the back of the set-piece and attack wide, however, they knock on, killing their attack.
20.00: It’s been a scrappy game, both sides are struggling with the dew, making passing and catching a little tricky. Scott Barrett loses the ball forward in contact, giving the visitors a centre-field scrum just outside the Saders’ 22.
21.00: Robert du Preez’s side are dominating territory and possession; they are also leaking penalties. Bosch will take another shot. You need to turn pressure into points, but threes won’t do against the nine-time champs.
22.00: PENALTY! Bosch splits the uprights to make it a one-point ball game. 7-6
24.00: Another mistake, this time from Taylor knocking on, stops another attack. Brad Mooar, the Crusaders’ assistant coach, says it’s “a bit untidy at the minute” and that his side needs to “change their tactics” because the Sharks’ defence is solid.
26.00: Superb work from Matt Todd on the ground, winning the penalty at the breakdown. Hunt clears to within 10 metres of the Sharks’ try-line.
27.00: Ruan Botha wins the Sharks’ third intercept of the match, another pop-up and catches, securing possession before counter-attacking out wide.
28.00: Du Preez’s men are disrupting a sloppy Saders’ outfit, but not punishing them. It will come back to haunt the visitors. They have had 61% territory and 65% possession. They win a scrum because of another knock on, this time at the lineout.
29.00: Sharks win another free kick; they have the upper hand in the set-pieces.
32.00: It’s a bit stop-start in Christchurch.
33.00: Coenie Oosthuizen is penalised in the scrum. Hunt clears the danger.
35.00: Some good covering by Sbu Nkosi, at the back, and the then they win the penalty near halfway. Bosch wants the tee.
36.00: PENALTY! WHAT A HIT, SON. Bosch puts the visitors back in front. 7-9
38.00: A scuffle breaks out after the Sharks win the penalty. Bosch doesn’t find touch, allowing George Bridge to attack down the right-hand touchline. Unfortunately for the Sharks – and Andre Esterhuizen – the ball bounces off the centre and into touch, giving the Crusaders an attack outside their 22.
39.00: Crusaders win their throw and start punching their way forward to the 22.
40.00: The hosts win a penalty for “no clear release” by the Sharks. They opt for the 5m lineout. The hooter sounds.
41.00: Superb work by the Sharks, they win the turnover on their line after a knock on.
The halftime score was Crusaders 7 Sharks 9
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in New Zealand where the Sharks have a deserved lead.
43.00: Joe Moody collapses the scrum; penalty to the Sharks. Bosch calls for the tee.
44.00: PENALTY! Bosch, from 46 metres out, extends the lead. 7-12
46.00: Bosch is charged down, however, from the resulting lineout, captain Louis Schreuder clears.
48.00: Superb foot-work by Aphelele Fassi. The fullback beats Sevu Reece, who has been quiet, to Hunt’s grubber, sliding to the floor and booting the ball out.
49.00: The South Africans rumble forward, winning another penalty. Moody is pinged for playing the ball on the ground. Bosch will take another long distance shot at goal.
50.00: PENALTY! The Sharks first-five strikes the ball clean, and it sails over. 7-15
51.00: Bridge and Taylor are both pinged after the restart, allowing Bosch to set-up a lineout inside the opposition’s half. It is the ninth penalty conceded by the Saders.
54.00: BIG SCRUM! the Crusaders – finally – win another scrum-penalty after Hunt put the ball out on the Sharks’ 5m. No surprise as they opt for another scrum.
56.00: TRY! Good work by the forwards sets up a penalty advantage; however, the Crusaders don’t need it as Read plays Jack Goodhue, who dances through some weak defending to score next to the right-hand post. 12-15
57.00: CONVERSION! Hunt adds the extras. 14-15
59.00: There has been another reshuffle, this time for the Sharks as Bosch goes to fullback for Rob du Preez.
61.00: The Sharks are camped inside their half, they are struggling to exit. A poor kick allows the defending champions to launch another attack.
64.00: It’s all Crusaders at the moment. They have all the territory and possession. The Sharks cannot get out of their half.
65.00: A couple of reset scrums has halted the home team’s momentum.
66.00: Michael Alaalatoa collapses another scrum. The Sharks can breathe.
67.00: Another penalty to the Sharks after Ben Funnell is penalised for no clear release after the tackle. This is kickable, and Bosch does call for the tee.
69.00: PENALTY! BOOM! Bosch, from 35 metres out and in front, increases the slender lead. 14-18
72.00: Penalty to the Sharks; Bosch will take another shot from distance.
73.00: MISS! That could be a crucial miss. It keeps the Saders in the game. 14-18
74.00: Excellent work at the breakdown by the Sharks. Oliver Jager is the guilty party, holding on after Thomas du Toit’s pressure.
75.00: PENALTY! Bosch atones for the earlier miss. 14-21
76.00: Read gives his side a chance after winning a penalty after the restart.
77.00: BIG DEFENCE! Nkosi gets across and tackles Braydon Ennor into touch, however, he was offsides. Read opts for a kick to touch.
78.00: No, he decides for a scrum.
79.00: Big defence, but the Sharks are under the pump.
80.00: The Crusaders are camped on the Sharks’ try-line. The visitors are leaking penalties; the Saders keep coming.
81.00: TRY! The white wall is breached. Hunt ran a beautiful line, beat Bosch’s tackle and scores near the posts.
82.00: CONVERSION! Hunt levels the match with his third conversion. 21-all
The final score is Crusaders 21 (7) Sharks 21 (9)
Tries – Taylor, Goodhue, Hunt
Con – Hunt (3)
Pen – Bosch (7)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2: James Munro
TMO: Glenn Newman
15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Mitchell Dunshea, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Isi Tu’ungafasi, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Tim Bateman.
15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Robert du Preez, 23 Marius Louw.