Crusaders make it hard for Sharks

Sat, 12 Jul 2014 09:11
Large read v highlanders

The Crusaders made an emphatic claim for a home semifinal in the competition with a bonus-point 34-8 victory over the Highlanders.

The Crusaders made an emphatic claim for a home semifinal in the competition with a bonus-point 34-8 victory over the Highlanders in their final pool match on Saturday.
The Highlanders, although guaranteed a play-off spot, did not look up for this game. On the other hand the Crusaders looked rampant in their quest for second place and a home semifinal.
With the table-topping Waratahs already assured of one semifinal, it will take a Herculean effort by the Sharks to deny the Crusaders the second berth.
The Sharks will need to beat the Stormers by a 35-point margin and pick up a bonus point in the final match of the regular season if they are to sneak into second place.
The Crusaders, seven-time Super champions, led the Highlanders 17-3 at half-time, scoring their first try just ahead of the break, before adding three more for their bonus point in the second half.
The Highlanders struggled to find their way with their talismanic captain Ben Smith sidelined by a leg infection.
They were punished for repeated indiscretions from which Dan Carter landed four penalties to give the Crusaders a handy lead in the first half before they began exchanging penalties for tries.
Matt Todd scored the first two and Corey Flynn the fourth from lineout drives when the Crusaders turned down handy shots at goal and kicked for the corner.
The third try came when scrumhalf Andy Ellis tapped and ran when the Crusaders had a close-range penalty and resulted in Nemani Nadolo scoring wide out.
The Crusaders forwards dominated throughout the match with their scrum and lineout both a class above what the Highlanders could muster, and the home side benefitted from five steals against the throw.
After beating the Auckland Blues two weeks ago, Crusaders centre Ryan Crotty said they were building nicely for the final.
"We've had a couple of good wins over the Blues and the Highlanders and it gives us momentum going into the finals. It's been a good couple of weeks."
While the Highlanders have qualified for the play-offs for the first time in 12 years, the Crusaders have reached the knock-out stage for the 13th consecutive year.
Man of the Match: For the Highlanders, Malakai Fekitoa tried his best to get his team over the advantage line, Manu was prevelent but not as effective as he has been. For the Crusaders Carter brought some of his class acting like a second flyhalf at No.12, Dagg looked more threatning but over all it was the class of captain Kieran Read that really shone through.
Tries: Todd 2, Nadolo, Flynn
Con: Carter
Pens: Carter 4
Try: Buckman
Pen: Parker
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Kieron Fonotia, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Tom Taylor, 23 Johnny McNicholl.
Highlanders: 15 Trent Renata, 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (captain), 7 Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Chris King, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Matias Diaz, 18 JP Koen, 19 Josh Bekhuis, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Phil Burleigh.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Watt (New Zealand)
There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4