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Super Rugby | Christchurch
07:35 (GMT) | 20-05-2016
  • 86
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  • 85
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  • 84
The match finally comes to an end with a Crusaders forward pass. FULL-TIME! The Crusaders may have missed out on the bonus point but have the all important four points!
  • 83
Guildford gets the ball and puts a grubber through that is collected by the Saders. They set up the next phase but the Tahs put in a massive counter ruck to win back possession. A deep kick is placed and the Saders are running it from inside their 22
  • 82
It's gone lateral and the Tahs look flustered. They have been pushed back to their 10 metre line but continue to play and run the ball
  • 81
The siren goes but play continues as the Tahs look to salvage some pride. They have now edged their way onto the Crusaders; 10 metre line.
  • 80
The Crusaders have turned it over but are penalised for not releasing the ball at the breakdown. Foley finds touch on his 10 metre line to set up a line-out
  • 79
The Tahs have no option but to run the ball from inside their 22. But the Saders are strong in defence and have kept them pegged in there.
  • 77
The players are looking a bit worn out at the moment as more and more handling errors creep into the game. The Crusaders looks for a grubber that is knocked on by the Tahs. Crusaders have it form the resulting scrum and are into the Tahs' 22. The ball is turned over once again
  • 76
Short arm penalty to the Crusaders is taken quickly and the backline is brought into the action. They lose it forward though and the Tahs come away with the ball. Guildford gets through a gap but holds onto it for a split second too long and loses the ball in the contact. Scrum to the Crusaders on the Waratahs' 10 metre line
  • 74
Another solid Crusaders scrum and another kick upfield. It's fielded by Folau and goes to ground. The Crusaders have regained possession as the Waratahs knock the ball on at the back of the ruck. Scrum to the Crusaders on the Waratahs' 10 metre line
  • 73
Solid scrum allows Ellis to boot the ball into touch on his 10 metre line. Possession back in the hands of Waratahs. They lose the ball forward though and possession is back in the Crusaders' hands. It's time for some handbags to be thrown around
  • 72
The throw-in is not straight and the Saders will have the scrum feed on their 22
  • 71
]The ball finally goes to the backline but an attempted offload goes forward and the Crusaders have it. They boot the ball into touch and the Tahs have the line-out throw-in on the Saders' 22
  • 70
Tahs have a penalty as the Saders are caught offside. They use their forwards to drive it towards the line. The recycling is slow and allows the Saders to regroup
  • 69
The constant resetting of the scrums is killing the momentum of the encounter. But when it eventually sets, the Tahs are running it and have made it to the Saders' 10 metre line. Hooper breaks through and gets into the 22. He exchanges passes with Lucas and have come within inches.
  • 67
Crockott loses the ball forward in midfield but the Tahs do the same. Play is brought back for the initial knock and the Tahs will have the scrum feed on the halfway line
  • 66
Waratahs look to run the ball from the restart but are forced into touch. Crusaders takes it quickly and are in possession on the half-way line.
  • 65
Foley fails to add the extra points
  • 64
Tha taking the ball through the phases now but are making very little ground as they remain outside the Saders' 22. Zac Guildford gets the ball on the inside from Lucas and the replacement snipes through for the score!
  • 63
Tahs have the ball and are using their forwards to get them into the 22. They turn the ball over and the Sader's pumps it up field. Time for a kicking battle that ends with Ellis kicking the ball out on the full and handing the Tahs a line-out throw-in just outside his 22
  • 62
Crusaders under some pressure from the restart and Ellis is forced to kick the ball away. He finds touch just outside his 22 and the Tahs will have the throw in
  • 61
The easy conversion is slotted by Mo'unga as the Crusaders stretch their lead
  • 60
Short arm penalty is taken quickly by Read. The forwards are put to work as they edge closer to the line. TRY!!! Jordan Taufua shows plenty of strength to bash his way over
  • 59
Solid scrum by the Saders and Ellis breaks away but he is brought down a few metres short. The ball fails to emerge from the breakdown and the Saders will have another scrum feed on the Tahs' 5 metre line
  • 57
Tahs' backline are offside at scrum time and the Saders opt for another scrum on the Tahs' 5 metre line
  • 56
The support players arrive and the Tahs are scrambling. The ball is dotted down by the Tahs and the Saders have the scrum feed
  • 55
The big boiys are used to make the hard yards before the backline is brought in. Folau gets hit hard in the tackle and spills it. The Saders are running it from their try line through McNicholl. He gets all the way into the Tahs' 22. He gets a lucky bounce off a traling Tahs hand and looks to chip it closer tot he line but it bobbles away from him
  • 54
Waratahs have the ball once again and are running at the Crusaders' defence. Foley breaks through a half gap and the Tahs are seven metres out.
  • 53
Tahs have it and Selton sets up a maul. PENALTY! Crusaders are penalised for collapsing the maul. Foley opts to go for touch and finds it close to the Saders' 22
  • 52
Saders steals it and are able to kcik the ball further up field. It bounces into touch on the Tahs' 10 metre line
  • 51
Tahs have it and Foley once again looks for territory. Dagg collects and sets up the next phase. The ball is spilled in midfield and the Tahs have it but they lose it as well inside the Saders' 22. Play comes to an end with Dagg kicking the ball into touch just outside his 22
  • 50
Another kick is placed by the Saders and it rolls into touch on the Tahs' 10 metre line. Throw in to the Tahs
  • 49
It has taken an age for a solid scrum to form. The Tahs are under pressure but Phipps manages to get his box kick. A kicking battle ensues and ends with the Saders opting to run the ball from their 10 metre line
  • 47
Yet another handling error stops the Saders' momentum and hands possession back to the Tahs. These errors are expected though as the field remains greasy
  • 46
Saders send the ball to their backline are inside the Tahs' 22
  • 44
Tahs lose the ball in midfield and the Saders look to run it again. They lose possession and the Tahs are able to boot it into touch on their 10 metre line. Crusaders winSaders win a line-out on the Tahs' 10 metre line and have set up a rolling maul
  • 43
Tahs have been pushed back a little and Ellis reacts quickest to turn possession over. The Saders launch a counter attack and up the field they go. They reach the halfway line but their momentum is stopped as Macilai-Tori is judged to have given Dagg a forward pass. Scrum feed to the Waratahs
  • 42
The ball is claimed and spread to the backline. It finds Folau who breaks through a gap and gets the Tahs close to the Saders' 22. They take the ball through the phases as they edge into the 22
  • 41
KICK-OFF! Mo'unga gets the second half underway with a deep kick into the Waratahs' 22. it's collected and at the Crusaders are pinned at the first breakdown. Foley finds touch close to the halfway line with the PENALTY.

Half Time

  • 40
Waratahas with the ball in midfield after a long kicking dual. The siren has gone but the Waratahs are having a crack. Horwitz kicks deep and Dagg hacks it out to bring the half to an end. What a half... don't miss the second.
  • 37
Mo'unga raises the flags for the extra 2 points.
  • 36
Taylor finds his jumper and the Saders use a set-move in the backs from the line-out. Todd plays Ellis who puts Mo'unga straight through the gap, Mo'unga steps his last defender and he is over for the try! Training ground move pays off.
  • 34
Foley makes a good break, stepping and jinking, he offloads to Phipps and he is ABSOLUTELY smoked from the blind by Read. Saders turn it over and they are up to the halfway. Its a long period of play and eventually stopped by Peyper who pings the Tahs for offsides. Mo'unga finds touch.
  • 30
Mo'unga, from a fairly easy position, misses.
  • 29
Read steals a line-out, easily, and the Crusaders are attacking. Ellis milks a penalty well and gives Mo'unga another chance to kick at poles.
  • 27
Foley can't add the extras from the corner.
  • 26
The ball comes loose from the Saders and Hooper comes away with it. The Waratahs are up to the 22m and have a chance to attack but they are losing ground. Folau comes on a wrap around and he is through, he offloads to Horne who chips ahead and scores in the corner! TRY
  • 23
After a couple of resets, Mo'unga puts a cross-kick out on the full, letting Reece Robinson out of jail. Saders win it though against the head.
  • 20
Waratahs have a line-out now but they are pinged for having 2 halfbacks, rookie error. Crusaders have a short-arm and opt for the scrum on the Tahs 10m.
  • 17
Some ill-discipline form Dean Mumm gives Mo'unga a chance to kick 3 points, and he obliges by raising the flags.
  • 15
ellis hoists a box kick and all Reece Robinson can do is collect it and be dragged out. Crusaders line-out.
  • 14
Waratahs attack in the Saders 22 for the first time but the spill the ball and hand a penalty to the home side. Mo'unga hits touch and the Crusaders have a line-out in the middle of the park.
  • 12
Dagg hoists an up and under from the line-out which McNicholl collects and scores but the try is disallowed for offsides and the Tahs have a penalty.
  • 11
Crusaders come out on top of another kicking dual. Dagg this time with the raking punt from inside his 22m.
  • 10
The conversion attampt sails wide this time from Mo'unga.
  • 9
Crusaders mixing it up with a drive now from the line-out and they are up to the 22m. Ellis eventually gets it out and Mo'unga puts a wide cross kick in and its pin-point. McNicholl colleccts high and offloads to Dagg for the TRY!
  • 7
Foley loses a kicking dual after his chip goes out on the full. Saders have an attacking line-out.
  • 6
Crusaders win a penalty and kick for touch. The line-out is scrappy but the home side secure it and are in Waratahs territory but a slight knock-on hands the Tahs a scrum deep in their own half.
  • 5
Mo'unga converts from the corner... great strike.
  • 4
Crusaders enjoying some possession and continuity as Ellis plays left and right. Mo'unga moves right and plays Fonitia who slips Moody away and he is straight through, the big man is running down the middle of the park and he offloads to Dagg who is in the 22m. Crusaders spread wide and throw the long speculator to McNicholl out wide and he finishes well for the TRY!
  • 2
Early line-out for the Waratahs in Saders territory. Foley quickly goes to the boot with a chip but its charged down and it will be a Tahs put in on the halfway.
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley gets the game underway.
  • -10
The weather is wet and cold in a rainy Christchurch which could change the tactics of both teams, meaning Foley's educated boot could play a vital part in this matchup. It will be interesting to see how Richie Mo'unga adapts his game in the wet. Kick-off is moments away...
  • -20
The Waratahs are without playmaker Kurtley Beale, and that will leave a big hole in midfield where David Horwitz must have to step-up. The Crusaders are coming off a hiding from the Highlanders and, due to the competitive nature in the NZ conference, will need to bounce back convincingly.
  • -30
Hello and welcome to Rugby365's live commentary of Super Rugby Round 18, and the first match is a cracker. A grudge game between the Waratahs and the Crusaders in Christchurch. Hold onto your seats and be ready for a physical battle that promises some quality rugby.
Mc crusaders logo 80x50
Mc waratahs logo 80x50
  • 1 Joe Moody
  • 2 Codie Taylor
  • 3 Owen Franks
  • 4 Luke Romano
  • 5 Sam Whitelock
  • 6 Jordan Taufua
  • 7 Matt Todd
  • 8 Kieran Read
  • 9 Andrew Ellis
  • 10 Richie Mo’unga
  • 11 Jone Macilai-Tori
  • 12 Ryan Crotty
  • 13 Kieron Fonotia
  • 14 Johnny McNicholl
  • 15 Israel Dagg
  • 16 Ged Robinson
  • 17 Wyatt Crockett
  • 18 Michael Alaalatoa
  • 19 Scott Barrett
  • 20 Tim Boys
  • 21 Mitchell Drummond
  • 22 David Kaetau Havili
  • 23 Marty McKenzie
  • 1 Paddy Ryan
  • 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau
  • 3 Tom Robertson
  • 4 Dave Dennis
  • 5 Will Skelton
  • 6 Dean Mumm
  • 7 Michael Hooper
  • 8 Jed Holloway
  • 9 Nick Phipps
  • 10 Bernard Foley
  • 11 Rob Horne
  • 12 David Horwitz
  • 13 Israel Folau
  • 14 Reece Robinson
  • 15 Andrew Kellaway
  • 16 Angus Taavao-Matau
  • 17 Hugh Roach
  • 18 Jeremy Tilse
  • 19 Sam Lousi
  • 20 Wycliff Palu
  • 21 Matt Lucas
  • 22 Matt Carraro
  • 23 Zac Guildford
Mc article richie mo unga crusaders 800


Thu, 19 May 2016 00:08

IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Jan de Koning looks at the first three matches in Part One of Super Rugby's Round 13.

The Crusaders could set the tone for what is going to be an intriguing weekend of Super Rugby.

The seven-time former champions, Crusaders, host the one-time champion Waratahs in Christchurch - the Crusaders coming off a disappointing loss and the Waratahs on a red-hot four-match winning streak.

It is the only Friday match, but will have a huge impact on the standings just a fortnight before the June break.

In the two early matches on Saturday the Chiefs - for so long tournament leaders till they were displaced by the Crusaders two weeks ago - are at home to the Rebels; while Reds and Sunwolves Brisbane in a match where battered pride is all that is at stake.

Friday, May 20:

The main question ahead of this game is: How will the loss of Kurtley Beale affect the Waratahs

Beale, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, was the creative spark in an exciting Tahs backline.

However, they have another massive hurdle - a 12-year drought against the Crusaders in Christchurch - to overcome.

Waratahs assistant coach Chris Malone admitted losing a player of that calibre is tough.

"Losing Kurtley for us will be a be a huge loss," Malone said.

"He's been in spectacular form. He's been an integral part of our team and he's been a real leader for us on and off the field.

"We'll sorely miss him, but it gives the opportunity for someone else to cover that absence. It will have a galvanising effect."
The Crusaders lost their first match last week after an eight-game winning streak, while the Tahs have six wins (four on the trot at present) and four losses.

However, Malone feels they need to continue to get better, especially in this crucial fortnight before the June break.

"We need to continue to push towards an 80-minute performance," the Tahs assistant said.

"We've got the Crusaders this week, who have been the competition front runners all year.

"We head over to Christchurch and there's a huge opportunity, but also a huge task ahead of us to ensure we keep heading in the direction we want to head.

"We've just got to keep working hard on the training ground and keep getting better and better each week."

Recent results:
2015: Waratahs won 32-22, Sydney
2014: Waratahs won 33-32, Sydney (Final)
2013: Crusaders won 23-22, Christchurch
2012: Crusaders won 37-33, Sydney
2011: Crusaders won 33-18, Nelson
2010: Crusaders won 20-13, Christchurch

Prediction: The Waratahs have won their last two games against the Crusaders, a third straight win would be their longest ever streak against the Christchurch franchise. The Christchurch based side have won their last four against Australian opposition, with the last two games in that run both coming by margins of 25-plus points. The Waratahs have won two of their last three games in New Zealand and will be searching for back-to-back wins there for the first time since 2009 after a 29-24 win over the Hurricanes in Round 10. The Crusaders have scored nine tries in the third quarter of matches so far this season, a 10th would make them the first team to have scored 10-plus tries in each quarter of their matches so far this season. Richie Mo'unga beat seven defenders in the Crusaders' Round 12 loss, the most of any Crusaders flyhalf in Super Rugby since 2011. The Waratahs have a realistic chance of winning in the Crusaders' back yard, but I would not bet my house in that. We feel the Crusaders will sneak it by eight points.


Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Jone Macilai, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Tim Boys, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 David Havili, 23 Marty McKenzie.

Waratahs: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Will Skelton, 4 David Dennis, 3 Tom Robertson, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Paddy Ryan.
Replacements: 16 Angus Ta'avao, 17 Hugh Roach, 18 Jeremy Tilse, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Wycliff Palu, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Matt Carraro, 23 Zac Guildford.

Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden, Kane McBride
TMO: Chris Wratt

Saturday, May 21:

The Reds return to Brisbane this weekend, following two games in New Zealand, and will be hoping to maintain their good home form this season - which has seen them win their last two at Suncorp Stadium.

Saturday's game will see the first meeting between the Reds and the Sunwolves, as the Queenslanders aim to finish on a high ahead of a Round 14 bye and the month-long June break.

The Sunwolves - with a win over the Jaguares and a draw with the Stormers - the Sunwolves now believe they can start knocking teams over more regularly.

Former Reds flank Ed Quirk is adamant they are not in Brisbane to "muck around".

"We're here to compete, not participate," Quirk told the

Ironically, the Reds will have the name of one of Japan's most iconic stars, fullback Ayumu Goromaru, on their player roster.

However, Quirk insists they are not focussed on individuals, but rather how the Sunwolves can perform AS A TEAM.

"We are playing the Reds on Saturday, not Goromaru," Quirk said.

Previous results:
These teams have never met before.

Prediction: The Reds have won their last two games at home, the same amount of wins they accrued in their previous 12 home matches. The last time they won three on the spin in the same season was at the end of their 2013 campaign. The Sunwolves have conceded 171 points in their three games away from home so far in 2016, that's an average of 57 per game. The Reds have scored 38 more points than they've conceded in the third quarter of games so far this season, the fourth best difference of any team and nine more than the next best Australian team (Brumbies). Riaan Viljoen has gained 604 metres, the most of any Sunwolves player, and has scored two tries and gained 176 metres in the Sunwolves' last two games away from home. Rob Simmons has won 58 line-outs (including one steal) to date this season, the second most of any player in the competition and 15 more than the next best Australian-based player (Sam Carter - 43).  It is difficult to know which Sunwolves team will turn up. They have been bouncing between sublime and diabolical this season. The Reds at home may be just too much and should win by 10 to 15 points.


Reds: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Anthony Fainga'a, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Curtis Browning, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Matt Mafi, 17 Sef Fa'agase, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ben Matwijow, 20 Michael Gunn, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Duncan Paia'aua, 23 Junior Laloifi.

Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Derek Carpenter, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa (captain), 11 John Stewart, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Atsushi Hiwasa, 8 Ed Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Fa'atiga Lemalu, 4 Tim Bond, 3 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 2 Takeshi Kizu, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Keita Inagaki, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Hitoshi Ono, 20 Taiyo Ando, 21 Yuki Yatomi, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Mifiposeti Paea.

Referee: Will Houston
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees, Nic Berry
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore

The Rebels know they have a mountain to climb against a Chiefs team determined to bounce back - after suffering only their second defeat of the season, 13-26 to the Highlanders.

Despite having slipped to three defeats in their last four matches - having previously topped the Australian conference - the Rebels are adamant they are not out of the play-off race yet.

The Rebels, who sit seven points behind the conference leaders - the Waratahs - on the Australian Conference ladder, have just five games left to make up lost ground.

However, Rebels coach Tony McGahan said the team will not focus on the hypothetical scenarios.

"We know exactly where we stand and what we've got to do and that's where we'll go forward this week," McGahan said in an interview on the Rebels website.

"If you get too caught up on the opposition and what they've got to do, who they've got to play, the byes they've got, and who's in and who's out, it becomes messy.

"We're keeping things pretty simple so we just worry about ourselves, what we've got control over and make sure we play well.

"We've got a tough assignment with the Chiefs away in Hamilton on Saturday."

Despite the Chiefs holding the head to head advantage, the Rebels take confidence from the fact that little has separated the two sides in their previous meetings.

"They're a fantastic side and have been leading the competition pretty much since day one, they're pretty hard to beat in New Zealand but we've done well against them the last two years and we look forward to mixing it up on Saturday," McGahan said.

Previous results:
2015: Rebels won 16-15, Melbourne
2014: Chiefs won 22-16. Hamilton
2013: Chiefs won 39-33, Melbourne
2011: Chiefs won 38-10, Hamilton

Prediction: The Chiefs have won three of their four games against the Rebels, though the Melbourne team snapped a three-game losing streak with a win in the last fixture between these franchises. Defeat to the Highlanders in Round 11 snapped a seven game winning streak for the Chiefs; they've not lost consecutive home games in the same season since 2011. The Chiefs have scored three tries on the back of a line-out steal, the equal most of any team in the competition, while the Rebels have conceded the joint most tries (three) after having their line-out stolen. The Rebels have conceded the second fewest points of any team in the final quarter of matches this season (32), just one point more than the Waratahs. Sefanaia Naivalua has made an average game of 9.7 metres from 26 carries so far this season, the most of any Australian-based player and the third most overall (minimum 10 carries). The Chiefs have too much class to be bogged down by their recent loss and should win by about 15 points.


Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Brad Weber, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Taleni Seu, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Mitchell Graham.
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Kane Hames, 18 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 19 Michael Allardice, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Sam Vaka.

Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker (captain), 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Sean McMahon, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Lopeti Timani , 4 Sam Jeffries, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 James Hanson, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva , 17 Cruze Ah Nau, 18 Tim Metcher, 19 Culum Retallick, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Jonah Placid, 23 Kotaro Matsushima.

Referee: Angus Gardiner
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill, Brett Johnson
TMO: Ben Skeen

Compiled by Jan de Koning

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article crusaders v waratahs match 800

Crusaders cement top spot

Fri, 20 May 2016 09:25

REPORT: The Crusaders made a mockery of the dire conditions when they beat the Waratahs 29-10 to cement top spot on the Super Rugby table.

The seven-time champion Crusaders scored three amazing tries in the pouring rain to lead 22-5 at the half-time break.

With the deteriorating conditions and the match effectively over as a contest, the teams shared a scrappy second half one try each.

However, they had done enough to open a four-point lead at the top of the standings - over compatriots the Chiefs and Highlanders.

The Crusaders, fired up to celebrate Andy Ellis's 150th game, produced an explosive start in stormy conditions.

But while satisfied with the win, the Crusaders were left to rue the departure of Zac Guildford to the Waratahs, with the wing scoring a late try against his former teammates to deny the competition leaders a bonus point.

With scrumhalf Ellis getting a dream ride behind a dominant pack, the Crusaders were able to defy the wind and rain from the kick off, and with a running game stacked with deft off-loads they were 15-0 up after 15 minutes.

The lead was stretched to 22-5 by half-time before the game degenerated in the second spell.

"The conditions were pretty tough and the lads came out firing. It was awesome," said captain Kieran Read.

"We saw the weather and that wasn't actually our game plan but it worked wonders for us early."

It produced a four-tries-to-two win, a confidence-booster following their loss to the Highlanders last week, while ending a four-match winning streak by the Waratahs.

Both sides remain at the head of their respective conferences with the Waratahs retaining a one-point margin over the Brumbies who have a bye this week.

Johnny McNicholl, Israel Dagg, Richie Mo'unga and Jordan Taufua all scored tries for the Crusaders, while Rob Horne scored in the first half for the Waratahs and Guildford scored late in the second spell.

Mo'unga added three conversions and a penalty to take his total for the season to 126, putting him at the top of the competition scoring list ahead of the Hurricanes' Beauden Barrett with 122.

The Crusaders used the kicking skills of Mo'unga and Dagg to pin the Waratahs in their own half from where they were happy to keep the ball in hand and attack the line.

Israel Folau, moved to outside centre for the Waratahs, made the most of the few chances he had which included setting up Horne's try to get the Waratahs on the board.

Man of the match: Israel Folau had his moments and Michael Hooper is always good value. Israel Dagg is in some seriously good form, Richie Mo'unga showed again that New Zealand have an embarrassment of riches at flyhalf and Luke Romano is another player you can trust to consistently perform. However, our award goes to Crusaders wing Johnny McNicholl for a barnstorming performance that saw him being rewarded with one of his team's four tries.

The scorers:

For the Crusaders:
McNicholl, Dagg, Mo'unga, Taufua
Cons: Mo'unga 3
Pen: Mo'unga

For the Waratahs:
Folau, Guildford


Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Jone Macilai, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Tim Boys, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 David Havili, 23 Marty McKenzie.

Waratahs: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Will Skelton, 4 David Dennis, 3 Tom Robertson, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Paddy Ryan.
Replacements: 16 Angus Ta'avao, 17 Hugh Roach, 18 Jeremy Tilse, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Wycliff Palu, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Matt Carraro, 23 Zac Guildford.

Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden, Kane McBride
TMO: Chris Wratt

Johnny McNicholl (4min), Israel Dagg (9min), Richie Mo’unga (36min), and Jordan Taufua (60min)
Israel Folau (26min) and Zac Guildford (64min)
Richie Mo’unga (5min), Richie Mo’unga (37min), and Richie Mo’unga (61min)
Richie Mo’unga (17min)
VENUE Christchurch
REFEREE Jaco Peyper (South Africa)