Super Rugby

Crusaders beat Western Force in Christchurch




The Crusaders have won five of their last six Super Rugby matches against the Western Force (L1), including their last three in succession – the longest winning run by either side in the history of this fixture.

The Crusaders have scored 50+ points in each of their last two Super Rugby matches (W2); only twice in Super Rugby history has any team scored 50+ points in three consecutive games (Bulls – 3 games in 2009/2010; Lions – 3 games in 2017).

  • The Western Force have scored more than 10 points in each of their last two Super Rugby away matches (L2); although, they have never been kept to under double figures in three consecutive away games.
  • The Crusaders have scored 49 points per game in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman, the most of any team; the Western Force (13) are ranked last in this category.
  • Kane Koteka (Western Force) has hit 88 rucks in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman this season, more than any other player in the campaign.

Match detail

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1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway at Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch.

2.00: The Western Force wins the first penalty of the night after Whetukamokamo Douglas is isolated at the ruck. Domingo Miotti kicks to the Crusaders’ half for a lineout.

3.00: TRY! Toni Pulu opens the scoring after stepping Will Jordan and shrugging off Manasa Mataele. 0-5

4.00: CONVERSION! Miotti slots the wide kick. 0-7

7.00: The Crusaders look to attack out wide, but the ball is passed into touch by Fergus Burke. The visitors have the ball on their 22.

8.00: A late sack by the Crusaders allows Miotti to clear to the opposition’s 10m.

11.00: The home team has a long series of possession, the visitors look to slow down the ball, but the Saders lose the ball forward. Scott Robertson’s rejigged 15 looks a little rusty in the opening stages.

14.00: TRY! Manasa Mataele chases down Braydon Ennor’s long grubber-kick, beating Kyle Godwin to the bouncing ball, and scoring. Whetukamokamo Douglas had stripped the ball from a Force attacker, popped to Scott Barrett, who played Sione Havili Talitui. Talitui drew a defender before passing to Ennor, who set up the try. 5-7

15.00: CONVERSION! Burke levels from wide. 7-7

18.00: A couple of problems with the scrums in the opening quarter of the game.

19.00: The Crusaders pack wins the first scrum penalty of the match.

20.00: TRY! Will Jordan finishes in the corner after some slick handling by Sione Havili Talitui and Leicester Fainga’anuku. That was just too easy. The fullback beat Miotti and Fergus Lee-Warner to the corner flag. 12-7

21.00: MISS! Burke misses from out wide. 12-7

24.00: The Force enjoys some good possession inside the Saders’ half, but the ability of the Kiwi champions to win penalties at the breakdown is second to none.

27.00: Kane Koteka, who has more rucks than any other player, concedes a penalty. Burke kicks deep into the Australian’s 22.

28.00: TRY! Whetukamokamo Douglas crashes over after breaking off a rolling maul. 17-7

30.00: MISS! Burke’s wide attempt is pulled to the left. 17-7

31.00: Miotti kicks a penalty to the corner; threes won’t get the job done at this ground.

32.00: TRY! Fergus Lee-Warner goes close, but is tackled short; however, the Force gets quick ball, and Ollie Callan crashes over for his maiden Super Rugby try. 17-12

33.00: CONVERSION! Miotti won’t miss from next to the posts. 17-14

35.00: The Western Force sack the maul illegally. The Saders decide to quick-tap instead of another lineout.

36.00: NO TRY! Manasa Mataele takes David Havili’s long cutout pass and scores in the corner; however, Bryn Hall had knocked on at the breakdown a couple of phases earlier. 17-14

38.00: The Force wins the scrum penalty, Miotti clears.

40.00: The visitors win another penalty after a long attack. Miotti will have been able to set up the last attack from deep inside the Crusaders’ half; however, Kyle Godwin is pinged for a neckroll on David Havili. Jordan Olowofela is on for Toni Pulu, who has turned his ankle. Burke kicks to the corner.

41.00: NO TRY! Tamaiti Williams crashes over from close range after the Force stopped the initial rolling maul, but Tomas Cubelli stripped the ball from the prop’s hand before he dotted down. Knock on is the call; however, the Crusaders have the penalty, they kick to the corner. 17-14

42.00: TRY! Sione Havili Talitui is helped by Williams over the line. 22-14

43.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 24-14

The halftime score was Crusaders 24 Western Force 14

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Christchurch, New Zealand.

43.00: NO TRY! Jordan Olowofela takes Richard Kahui’s quick pass, but the referee chalks off the try for a forward pass by the winger. 24-14

45.00: The Crusaders manage to survive the 20-phase onslaught before winning a penalty of their own.

47.00: TRY! Just like that, the Crusaders strike after winning a series of penalties. The home team’s forwards were again kept out from a driving maul, but the ball is shifted to Will Jordan, who grabs his second score. 29-14

49.00: MISS! Burke misses his third kick. 29-14

50.00: NO HAT-TRICK! Jordan’s bomb is dropped by Miotti, Whetukamokamo Douglas picked up the loose ball, and played Jordan in for the try; however, the try is chalked off after a TMO call because of a foot in touch by Jake Strachan, who tried to play quickly. 29-14

54.00: Held up! Good work by Havili after Jordan missed a tackle on Jake Strachan.

57.00: The Force has been good again, something is brewing in Perth, and we should expect good things from Tim Sampson’s fledgling team.

60.00: The game enters the final quarter, there is still time for the Aussies to mount an unlikely comeback, but the Crusaders don’t ever lose with this kind of lead – and never at home.

64.00; It’s all Western Force at the minute, they are going through the phases, but cannot get over the chalk.

68.00: Superb defending by the hosts; they are knocking the Aussies back in the tackle, and Sampson’s men have no answers for the solid red wall.

72.00: The Crusaders keep the Force at bay, but are under some pressure.

75.00: The Force cannot get through the red wall; instead, the Saders manage to hold them out before mounting a couple of decent attacks from deep inside their half.

78.00: So close for the Saders, but some good defending by the visitors earns Sampson’s men a scrum inside their 22.

80.00: TRY! Olowofela chases down Kyle Godwin’s speculative kick and scores, it chalks off the home team’s bonus point, which could prove costly for Robertson’s men. 29-19

81.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 29-21


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The final score is Crusaders 29 (17) Western Force 21 (14)


Tries – Mataele, Jordan (2), Douglas, Talitui
Pen –
Con – Burke (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Western Force
Tries – Pulu, Callan, Olowofela
Pen –
Con – Miotti (2), Prior
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1: James Doleman
Assistant Ref 2: Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Chris Hart



15 Will Jordan, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 David Havili, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Fergus Burke, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Sione Havili Talitui, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tamaiti Williams

 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Isileli Tu’ungafasi, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Dallas McLeod, 23 Josh McKay

Western Force

15 Jake Strachan, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin (captain), 11 Richard Kahui, 10 Domingo Miotti, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Ollie Callan, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Tom Robertson

 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Angus Warner, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Tim Anstee, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Jack McGregor, 23 Jordan Olowofela

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