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Crusaders

FULL-TIME
10     20

Rebels

Super Rugby | Christchurch
06:35 (GMT) | 13-02-2015
  • 80
The Rebels keep the ball close on halfway be Inglish finds some space. The Crusaders cannot get their hands on the ball and Harris kicks the ball out. FULL-TIME: Crusaders 10- 20 Rebels
  • 78
Freuan gets the ball now and sprints down field towards halfway before he is brought down. The Rebels get the penalty now with the Crusaders playing the ball on the ground
  • 77
The Crusaders keep the ball on halfway but are met with some good defence and they get the penalty but Slade crucially misses touch
  • 75
Rebels now get the penalty just outside their 22 with the Crusaders not rolling away and Harris finds a good touch finder on halfway
  • 73
Jordan Taufua gets the Crusaders on the front foot from the scrum before they send it down the line and they knock it on in the Rebels 22
  • 72
Crusaders have another opportunity after a poor clearance from Harris, They take the ball into the 22 with McCaw and they get a penalty. Todd calls for a scrum
  • 70
Another massive scrum puts the Rebels under pressure on their own try line, McCaw takes it quickly and Franks knocks the ball while diving over the try-line. Scrum to Rebels
  • 67
Harris gets the CONVERSION over and it is Crusaders 10- 20 Rebels
  • 65
A massive scrum from the Crusaders on halfway wins them the ball before Stirzaker steals a kick from Carter on halfway and races down field for a TRY! for the Rebels
  • 63
Slade misses the penalty. The Rebels have good possession on halfway now with Timani strong in the tackle before Stirzaker kicks down field. Freuan finds touch close to halfway for the Crusaders with a returning kick
  • 60
The Crusaders turn the ball over and kicks the ball down field to find touch in the Rebels' half. Stirzaker sends a high ball and McNichool finds space in the Rebels's half with a good run
  • 60
Sean McMahon gets a YELLOW CARD for a dangerous tackle on Todd
  • 58
Rebels have another attacking line-out in the Crusaders 22 after a poor touch finder by Carter. The Crusaders win the ball back and this Time Carter finds a great touch finder near half way
  • 56
And the Rebels can't do anything with and Crusaders win possession as the Rebels were held up 5 metres short
  • 55
Rebels with a lot of possession now and they get an attacking line-out on the Crusaders 22 after McNicholl could not field the ball. Pat Leafa runs down the touch and is brought down 5 metres short
  • 53
Harris sends the 55 metre short and the score remains 10-13
  • 52
Fonotia charges up for the Crusaders before Freuan sends a wayward pass into touch. the Rebels decide to run it and get the penalty with Carter offside on halfway
  • 51
Ellison makes his way with a strong run into the Crusaders half but Timani holds on and Carter finds touch on the Rebels 10 metre line
  • 50
The Crusaders get possession back from the clearance kick and they take the ball up to the Rebels 22. and the Rebels get a penalty with a Saders' player holding on.
  • 48
Crusaders can't make use of the line-out with it not being in straight. Rebels decide to run the ball out but make no head way and they get another scrum 5 out from their try-line
  • 46
The Crusaders gain ground in the Rebels 22 with good runs from Fonotia and Bird and they get a penalty for an early tackle on Taylor. Crusaders have an attacking line-out 5 out from the Rebels tryline
  • 44
Crusaders get an attacking scrum on the Rebels 22 after the restart goes straight into touch
  • 43
The Rebels look to work it out from their own 22 before Harris clears. Freuan runs it back for the Crusaders and they get a penalty 5 from the Rebels 22. Carter knocks the penalty wide and it is still 10-13
  • 41
Dan Carter gets the second half under way!

Half Time

  • 40
Higginbottom takes the ball up over halfway after the Rebels get a free kick on halfway but the Crusaders turn it over on their own 10 metre line with the Rebels held up in the maul. freuan knocks on after they go onto the attack. and Rebels get the Penalty. Drummond gets the YELLOW Card for not rolling away. Harris gets the PENALTY over and it is Crusaders 10- 13 Rebels at HALF-TIME
  • 39
Rebels go on attack from the line-out and they are 5 out from the Crusaders 22 before they knock it on.
  • 38
McNicholl runs it back after Harris clears from the 22 but but they give away a penalty with Funnel holding on
  • 36
Bird wins the Rebels line-out on Halfway and the Crusader try and find a gap in the Rebels defence before Moody knocks on about 7 metres from the Rebels 22
  • 32
And the Rebels get a penalty at the scrum with Joe Moody penalised for sagging on the 10 metre line and Harris kicks the PENALTY over, it is 10-10.
  • 31
Drummond knocks on at the scrum and now the Rebels have a good attacking scrum on the Crusaders 10 metre line
  • 29
Rebels kick down field in the Crusaders 22 and McNicholl returns the kick before Stirzaker knocks on with a good opportunity out wide for the Rebels on the Crusaders 10 metre
  • 26
Carter gets the CONVERSION and it is 10-7 to the Crusaders
  • 24
And Funnel goes over for the TRY with a good drive from the line-out!
  • 23
Harris gets gets the CONVERSION over and it is 3-7 to the Rebels
  • 22
And Timani gets the TRY for the Rebels as he pushed himself over 3 metres out!
  • 21
Rebels go onto the attack in the midfield from a line-out and make their way into the Crusaders' 22. Ellison making good ground as the Rebels are 5 out from the try-line
  • 19
The Rebels go on attack after a high ball from Drummond but they lose it forward but the ref brings the play back for a penalty for the Rebels on their 10-metre line
  • 18
Whitelock runs it back for the Crusaders after the restart, Harris fields a kick for the Rebels in his 22 . Rebels turn it over and are on attack in the Crusaders 22 but give away a penalty
  • 15
Crusaders win the Rebels' line-out and gets the penalty on the Rebels' 10-metre line. Carter goes for polls and misses.
  • 14
The Rebels decide to kick for halfway and Freuan finds a gap and makes into the Rebels 22 but he hlod on and it is a penalty to Rebels
  • 13
From a scrum on halfway Fonotia goes over the advantage line with a good run and Crusaders send a grubber with the Rebels' having a line-out on their 22
  • 10
Crusaders go on attack from the line-out and it is another penalty, this time the Rebels forwards are offside at the ruck. Carter gets the PENALTY over and it is 3-0 to the Crusaders
  • 7
The Crusaders on on attack in the midfield with McNichol find a half back, but the ref brings it back for a penalty. Rebels' players not rolling away.
  • 4
Nic Stirzaker gets a yellow card for stamping on Ritchie McCaw while the Rebels were in a good attacking position
  • 2
Rebels lose control from a line-out on halfway, the Crusaders are penalised for holding on but Jack Debreczeni cannot find touch
  • 0
Rebels' Jack Debreczeni gets the game under way!
  • -3
It is a chilly evening in Christchurch.
  • -5
Five minutes until kick-off!
  • -10
The Crusaders have won 86% of their matches against Australian opposition in Christchurch.
  • -20
The Rebels only managed four wins in last year's campaign while the Crusaders made it all the way to the final, which they lost to the Waratahs.
  • -30
Welcome to live coverage of Super Rugby. The Crusaders will be up against Melbourne Rebels in the first game of the 2015 season.
Mc crusaders logo 80x50
Crusaders
Mc rebels logo 80x50
Rebels
START LINE UP
  • 15 David Havili
  • 14 Israel Dagg
  • 13 Jack Goodhue
  • 12 Ryan Crotty
  • 11 Seta Tamanivalu
  • 10 Richie Mo’unga
  • 9 Bryn Hall
  • 8 Kieran Read
  • 7 Matt Todd
  • 6 Jordan Taufua
  • 5 Sam Whitelock
  • 4 Scott Barrett
  • 3 Owen Franks
  • 2 Codie Taylor
  • 1 Joe Moody
RESERVES
  • 23 George Bridge
  • 22 Mitchell Hunt
  • 21 Mitchell Drummond
  • 20 Pete Samu
  • 19 Luke Romano
  • 18 Michael Alaalatoa
  • 17 Wyatt Crockett
  • 16 Ben Funnell
START LINE UP
  • 15 Jack Maddocks
  • 14 Tom English
  • 13 Mitch Inman
  • 12 Reece Hodge
  • 11 Marika Koroibete
  • 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop
  • 9 Nic Stirzaker
  • 8 Amanaki Mafi
  • 7 Colby Faingaa
  • 6 Sean McMahon
  • 5 Lopeti Timani
  • 4 Steven Cummins
  • 3 Laurie Weeks
  • 2 James Hanson
  • 1 Toby Smith
RESERVES
  • 24 Jonah Placid
  • 23 Semisi Tupou
  • 22 Sione Tuipolotu
  • 21 Ben Meehan
  • 20 Murray Douglas
  • 19 Esel Haangana
  • 18 Fereti Sa'aga
  • 17 Cruze Ah-Nau
  • 16 Jordan Uelese
Mc article israel dagg archery

Preview: S15 Round One, Part One

Wed, 11 Feb 2015 23:48

The pre-season is over and now the real games start. Jan de Koning looks at Friday's games in Round One of Super Rugby.

The final year of a 15-team Super Rugby competition will get underway when the seven-time champion Crusaders host the Rebels in Christchurch on Friday.

And they are teams at the opposite end of the Super Rugby landscape - the Rebels having propped up the table last year and with a best-ever finish of 12th; the Crusaders having a record seven titles to their credit and finishing second in 2014.

After the trans-Tasman opener to the season, we have the first all-Australian derby - the to-time champion Brumbies hosting the Reds, who can also lay claim to a Super Rugby title.

The opening day of the season completes with two of the most exciting teams and a promise of a try-feast, when the Lions host the Hurricanes in Johannesburg.

We look at all Friday's matches!

Friday, February 13

 Crusaders v Rebels
(AMI Stadium, Christchurch - Kick-off: 19.35; 06.35 GMT; 21.35 AEDT)

The Rebels had an impressive pre-season, with two good wins - a solid 28-13 victory over the Reds in Cairns and a 25-24 come-from-behind victory over the Highlanders in Melbourne.

In contrast the Crusaders lost all three warm-up games - 26-29 against a very willing Highlanders, the Hurricanes winning 41-31 and the reds thumping them 35-12 at Ballymore.

However, the Crusaders' mantra now - given their well-documented slow starts to the season - is that it is best they get the losing streak out the way first up and then click into gear in the season proper.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said there is something special about this season.

"With it being our 20th Crusade and a World Cup year, there is a real buzz within the team at the moment," Blackadder said.

"They are fired up for this season and ready to get it started."

History suggests the Crusaders will not have it their own way.

"The Rebels have always been a tough challenge for us, so we know we're going to have a real battle on Friday," the coach said.

"It should be a good spectacle and a great way to kick this season off."

The return of All Black captain Richie McCaw, albeit as a blindside flank, is certain to add spice to the occasion and hand the Crusaders that calming influence they will surely need against a team know for its frenzied approach to the game.

Forwards coach Dave Hewett welcomed the injection of McCaw, after a tepid effort by the pack in the loss to the Reds.

"I was a bit disappointed with the set piece," Hewitt said, adding: "The accuracy of what we did wasn't to the level that we needed to be at."

Previous results:
2014: Crusaders won 25-19, Melbourne
2013: Crusaders won 30-26, Christchurch
2012: Rebels won 28-19, Melbourne

Prediction: The Crusaders boast an 86 percent win rate when playing Australia representatives at home. The three meetings between these sides have all been tight affairs, with each having a single figure final margin. The Crusaders are unbeaten in 23 home games against Australia opposition, winning 22 and drawn one. Their last home defeat by a trans-Tasman rival was in February 2004 (19-43 against Waratahs). The Melbourne-based side has also lost on all eight visits to New Zealand since their inclusion to the competition in 2011. The Rebels have won their opening fixtures of the season in each of the last two years. In contrast, the Crusaders lost their opening games in 2013 and 2014. History makes for interesting reading, but it is the quality of the players that matter most and that is where the Crusaders have a clear edge - which should see them win by about 10 points.

Teams:

Crusaders: 15 Colin Slade, 14 Robbie Fruean, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Richie McCaw, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Wyatt Crockett, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Ryan Crotty, 23 Nathaniel Apa.

Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Colby Fainga'a, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Scott Fuglistaller, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Sefanaia Naivalu.

Referee: Briant Nick (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Shane McDermott (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

Brumbies v Reds
(GIO Stadium, Canberra - Kick-off: 19.40; 08.40 GMT)

Australian derbies are notoriously tedious affairs - not because of a lack of effort or skill, but because teams are so determined to upstage each other that it inevitable turn into an arm wrestle.

Add to that the Brumbies' propensity to kick the leather off the ball - a legacy of Jake White's two years in Canberra - and you would expect another snorefest.

However, there are a couple of individuals that will make this match worth watching.

Firstly there is Karmichael Hunt, who will start at flyhalf for the Reds.

The code-hopper is a skilful player, but even Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham felt he may need time to adjust to the intricacies of Rugby Union.

Of course the return of Wallaby stalwart David Pocock, who is also the Brumbies' stand-in captain, will ensure the breakdown is entertaining.

Having had last weekend off - following two trial matches against the Western Force and Highlanders over the previous two weekends - the Brumbies will be fresh.

In contrast the Reds will enter the first round full of confidence having beaten the Crusaders in Cairns last Friday - after the Reds produced an explosive first half in which they scored four converted tries.

While conditions promise to be testing in Canberra, Reds coach Richard Graham said his side always looked forward to the traditional derby.

"We have begun the last four or five seasons down in Canberra,"Graham said.

"It has become a traditional fixture and all are comparable in nature - forward orientated, physical, strong field position games with close results.

"We have prepared for a similar contest and looking at the expected weather conditions may not be disappointed.

"We are very much looking forward to the start of Super Rugby. I've thrown a lot of change and challenges at the collective squad and the response has been fantastic.

"They have all contributed to a strong pre-season, the trials provided us with a clear reference of where we are at and now we move into the competition phase."

Recent results:
2014: Brumbies won 23-20, Brisbane
2014: Reds won 27-17, Canberra
2013: Brumbies and Reds drew 19-19, Brisbane
2013: Brumbies won 24-6, Canberra
2012: Reds won 13-12, Canberra
2012: Reds won 20-13, Brisbane

Prediction: The Reds have won just one of their last four games against the Brumbies, losing two and drawing the other. At home the Canberra side has won its last eight games. However, their last defeat at home was against the Reds. The ACT-based franchise has won 11 of their last 13 at home against fellow Australian teams - the two exceptions having both been defeats to the Reds. The Reds have lost just three of their last 10 away home nation derbies, winning six an drawn one. These sides have met on the opening weekend of the season on four occasions, with the Brumbies triumphant in each of these games. The Reds have had an impressive pre-season, but if you look at their teamsheet you are not really inspired - some great individuals, but also a few weak links and a lack of depth. The Brumbies have one of Australia's most inspirations players, David Pocock, in their line-up and should win - by less than 10 points.

Teams:

Brumbies: 15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock (captain), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Ita Vaea, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Lausii Taliauli.

Reds: 15 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Lachie Turner, 10 Karmichael Hunt, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Curtis Browning, 5 Marco Kotze, 4 James Horwill, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sef Faagase, 19 Ed O'Donoghue, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Duncan Paia'aua, 23 Campbell Magnay.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia), Will Houston (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

 Lions v Hurricanes
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 19.10; 17.10 GMT; 06.10 Saturday, February 14 NZ time)

The Hurricanes, with a preference to get their South African tour out the way first up, will meet a far more settled Lions team than the one that made its return to Super Rugby last year.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann have been able to name a settled starting XV for his side's opening Super Rugby match in Johannesburg on Friday.

The Ellis Park clash is the first of two games in South Africa for the Hurricanes - who also meet the Bulls in Pretoria next week.

They will be without two key All Blacks - lock Jeremy Thrush (calf injury) and centre Ma'a Nonu (paternity leave).

However, it is more the quality of the Lions team than the absence of some of their own stars that pose the biggest threat.

The Lions' starting XV closely mirror the team which featured in last year's Currie Cup Final - with only two changes.

"It is nice to have that core and that balance going into a second Super Rugby campaign," told a media briefing.

"There was stiff competition in quite a few of the positions and it was tough to select the 23."

Ackermann's resources at loose forward, hooker and flyhalf is more than just satisfactory and even with a couple of injuries in the front row his team's set pieces should again be a powerful weapon.

Last year the Lions' strengths were centred around those set pieces.

Statistically their 91 percent scrum success was the best in Super Rugby, and the 206 line-outs they won was the third best of the competition.

Their No.8 and captain Warren Whitely earned a Springbok call-up.

Marnitz Boshoff, another Bok vintage from 2014, kicked goals at 87 percent, including several whoppers from 50 metres plus - while he also slotted eight drop-goals.

His match-up with Beauden Barrett in this season opener could be a telling factor.

Barrett starts this season with 594 career Super Rugby points, closing in on becoming the 17th player to pass 600 career points.
 
If Boshoff has an off day, as he did in the Currie Cup Final the Lions can call on another Bok flyhalf - 2012 vintage Elton Jantjies, who will be playing off the bench. Jantjies is back from his stint with Japanese club Shining Arcs, after missing the Currie Cup season.

Lions captain Warren Whiteley said they could build on the momentum gained in last year's Currie Cup, and the entire squad had grown in experience.

"We've been together long enough now, we've all been through a Super Rugby campaign," Whiteley said.

"Our biggest challenge will be mentally this year and to just keep our feet on the ground.

"We know the threat the Hurricanes pose, they are a fantastic side with dangerous players all over the park."

Recent results:
2012: Hurricanes won 30-28, Johannesburg
2011: Hurricanes won 38-27, Wellington
2010: Hurricanes won 33-18, Wellington
2009: Hurricanes won 38-32, Johannesburg
2008: Hurricanes won 38-12, Wellington
2007: Lions won 30-7, Johannesburg

Prediction: The Hurricanes have won five straight against the Lions and their all-time record against them away from home reads positively - won four, lost three. The Lions ended 2014 with three straight victories, a feat they hadn't managed since winning four in a row in the early part of the 2007 season. The Lions have lost seven of their last eight home games against New Zealand opposition. The Canes have lost five of their last seven games in South Africa, as well as nine of their last 12. The Lions have won their last two opening weekend fixtures (2012 and 2014) in Super Rugby, but lost the two previous to that (2010 and 2011), won the two prior to that (2008 & 2009) and lost the two before that (2004 & 2007). The Hurricanes lost their opening fixture of the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons. The Lions had the best discipline in the league last season, conceding just 9.6 penalties per game. The South African side also boasted the best scrummaging unit in Super Rugby, winning 91 percent of scrums on their own feed. If the Lions can remain as disciplined as last year, especially on defence, and their set pieces function at optimal level, they should sneak a win - by less than 10 points.

Teams:

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Nicolaas Hanekom

Hurricanes: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Rey Le-Lo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dan Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Reggie Goodes, 18 Chris Eves, 19 Callum Gibbins, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 James Marshall, 23 Matt Proctor.

Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Lesego Legoete (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

By Jan de Koning
@King365ed
@rugby365com

Mc article crusaderes v rebels

Rebels stun Crusaders in opener

Fri, 13 Feb 2015 08:30

REPORT: The Rebels caused the first upset in the opening match of the 2015 Super Rugby competition when they beat the Crusaders 20-10.

The Melbourne-based Rebels caused the first upset in the opening match of the 2015 Super Rugby competition when they beat the Crusaders 20-10 in Christchurch on Friday.

In a game that produced three yellow card - one which possibly could have been red and another that was a dubious penalty at best - the visitors outscored their hosts by two tries to one.

There was further bad news for both the All Blacks and Crusaders, as veteran flyhalf Daniel Carter suffered a another leg injury in what will be his final Super Rugby season.

The injury will no doubt send a ripple of fear through New Zealand and down the spine of All Blacks coach Steve Hansen - who is counting on the flyhalf being a big part of his plans for their World Cup defence in England later this year.

Carter will leave New Zealand after the conclusion of the World Cup in September and October to take up a three-year contract with France's Racing Metro.

He barely played at all last year due to a sabbatical and then a broken leg suffered in the Super Rugby Final in July.

While the veteran was willing to put his body on the line, and made a number of tackles, but he looked rusty and 102-Test veteran then suffered the injury in his lower right leg in about the 56th minute - when he stretched for a high wayward pass and shanked his clearing kick.

Carter was visibly hobbling and spoke to team doctor Deb Robinson at length, but continued to play - which cost his side a try to Nick Stirzaker when the flyhalf made a poor kick and the scrumhalf pounced on the ball and sprinted 45 metres to give his side a 20-10 lead with about 15 minutes remaining.

The most endearing aspect of the game was the Rebels' in-your-face defence - which not only shut down the Crusaders' attacks, but also disrupted their rhythm.

"I'm absolutely rapt with the boys, they went hard and credit to them," said Rebels captain Scott Higginbotham, whose committed effort was at the heart of his side's win.

The Crusaders are notoriously poor starters, usually clicking into gear at the sharp end of the season, but skipper Matt Todd left no doubt the loss in front of his home crowd stung.

"We just weren't good enough tonight, we'll have to have a look at that game and make some improvements, that's for sure," Higginbotham said.

The Rebels who have been wooden spooners in two of the four seasons they have competed, were given little chance against Super Rugby's most successful club with seven titles.

Rebels' fullback Mike Harris added 10 points from the boot for the visitors, while massive lock Lopeti Timani scored a first half try.

Carter slotted one penalty and converted hooker Ben Funnell's try, but was eventually replaced in the 74th minute when it was apparent he could not run with any freedom.

Carter's injury overshadowed a scratchy performance from the seven-times champions and last year's beaten finalists who had numerous errors in accuracy, handling and decision-making that left many of the 13,518 crowd frustrated at their inability to convert their opportunities into points.

Man of the match: Daniel Carter looked well short of match fitness and was then injured, Matt Todd had his moments and Richie McCaw made his presence felt - even if not all of it was legal. However, the real heroes were in the white-and-blue of the Rebels. Nic Stirzaker, despite his early yellow card (which was a questionable penalty at best), was a constant threat to the Crusaders. Scott Higginbotham worked hard and Lopeti Timani was industrious. However, out award goes to new recruit Mike Harris, who was a rock in the last line of defence and kicked 10 valuable points.

The scorers:

For the Crusaders:
Try:
Funnell
Con: Carter
Pen: Carter

For the Rebels:
Tries:
Timani, Stirzaker
Cons: Harris 2
Pens: Harris 2

Yellow cards: Nic Stirzaker (Rebels, 4 - foul play, stamping), Mitchell Drummond (Crusaders, 40 professional foul, killing the ball), Sean McMahon (Rebels, 61 - foul play, spear tackle)

Teams:

Crusaders: 15 Colin Slade, 14 Robbie Fruean, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Richie McCaw, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Wyatt Crockett, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Ryan Crotty, 23 Nathaniel Apa.

Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Colby Fainga'a, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Scott Fuglistaller, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Sefanaia Naivalu.

Referee: Briant Nick (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Shane McDermott (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

@rugby365com

Ben Funnell (24min)
TRIES
Lopeti Timani (22min)
 
CONVERSIONS
 
PENALTIES
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
Sean McMahon (60min)
 
 
VENUE Christchurch
REFEREE Briant Nick (New Zealand)