Highlanders knock over Crusaders



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New Zealand’s lowest placed team the Highlanders did the unthinkable and toppled over the Crusaders at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch beating them by 14 points to 26.

The remarkable result saw the Crusaders going an entire half without scoring even though they scored the first points of the match.

The Highlanders completely outplayed the Crusaders and even outscored them three tries to one.


Last week the Reds gave the Crusaders a wake up call and their recent form will be a big concern for out going coach Robbie Deans.


With the Crusaders already 12 points clear atop the standings and having secured a home semifinal before entering this final round game, there was little by way of motivation, and the Highlanders duly scored three tries to beat its more accomplished compatriots for the first time since 2001.

Still there was concern for the Crusaders in the manner of their defeat on the eve of the semifinals. The Crusaders are not deriving the same wattage from their star power that they have in previous years.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and flyhalf Daniel Carter are jointly passing through a sustained form slump and, without their solidity and inspiration, the Crusaders are a more vulnerable team.

Carter’s crossfield kick led to the Highlanders’ first try by fullback Paul Williams in the seventh minute.

Tries followed to halfback Toby Morland and flanker Adam Thomson as the Highlanders took a 23-14 lead by halftime, then closed out the match with a penalty which provided the only points of the second half.

“We watched the (Queensland) Reds game last week and learned from what they did to them, put pressure on the tight five,” Otago captain Craig Newby said.

“That put their loose forwards under pressure and put them on the back foot. We tried to disrupt them and really hook into them and I guess it paid off.”


Final Score Crusaders 14 Highlanders 26






Tries – Corey Flynn

Pen – Dan Carter (3)

Con –
Cards – Richie McCaw 14 (yellow)



Tries – Paul Williams, Toby Morland, Adam Thomson

Pen – Mike Delany (3)

Con – Mike Delany


AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Saturday May 17
Referee: Keith Brown (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand), Josh Noonan (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
Assessor: Kim Eichmann (New Zealand)




Crusaders team

15. Leon MacDonald,14. Kade Poki ,13. Caleb Ralph ,12. Stephen Brett ,1. Sean Maitland ,10. Daniel Carter ,9. Andrew Ellis ,8. Mose Tuiali’i ,7. Richard McCaw (captain) ,6. Reuben Thorne ,5. Ali Williams ,4. Brad Thorn ,3. Greg Somerville ,2. Corey Flynn ,1. Ben Franks

Reserves: : 16. Ti’i Paulo ,17. Wyatt Crockett ,18. Kieran Read ,19. Nasi Manu ,20. Kahn Fotuali’i ,21. Tim Bateman ,22. Casey Laulala.




15. Mike Delany,14. Paul Williams ,13. Niva Ta’auso,12. Johnny Leota,11. Fetu’u Vainikolo,10. Daniel Bowden,9. Toby Morland, 8. Craig Newby ( c ),7. Tim Boys,6. Adam Thomson,5. Tom Donnelly,4. Hayden Triggs,3. Clint Newland,2. David Hall,1. Chris King


Reserves:16. Jason Macdonald,17. Keith Cameron,18. Isaac Ross,19. George Naoupu,20. Jimmy Cowan,21. Aaron Bancroft,
22. Glen Horton.

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