Photo Credit:Getty Images.
The Crusaders have returned to winning ways when they inflicted a 32-19 defeat on the battling Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.
Crusaders did not take kindly to the defeat they suffered by the Hurricanes in Christchurch last week and inflicted their wrath on Warren Gatland’s struggling charges. From the outset the Crusaders looked tuned in, and although the Chiefs were able fight back well and hang tough throughout the first three quarters of the match, they could do nothing to halt the Crusaders’ surge in the final 20 minutes.
The possession and territorial stakes were almost evenly split, but the visitors were more aggressive on defence and dominated the set pieces – particularly the scrum.
The Crusaders, though, did not have the upper hand at the breakdown where Chiefs flank Lachlan Boshier had a field day, notching several crucial turnover penalties for his side.
Be that as it may, the Crusaders raced out to a 12-point lead courtesy of two tries, the first originating from a well-executed sequence of play down the short side and the second coming after a patient 15-phase attack.
At that stage, with the Chiefs falling off tackles so easily, the Crusaders looked to be on course for a big win. But the Chiefs found a way back into the contest with a 10-point haul via a converted try by the impressive Boshier and a penalty by Damian McKenzie.
However the Chiefs had a couple of opportunities for a consolation score, but they were unable to get the breakthrough, allowing the Crusaders to ultimately come away with a comfortable bonus-point win.
Chiefs – Try: Lachlan Boshier. Conversion: Damian McKenzie. Penalties: McKenzie (4).
Crusaders – Tries: Tom Sanders, Will Jordan, Codie Taylor, Sevu Reece, Leicester Fainga’anuku. Conversions: Richie Mo’unga (2). Penalty: Mo’unga.
Chiefs – 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Anton Leinert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tupou Vaa’i, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Reuben O’Neill.
Subs: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Simon Parker, 21 Lisati Milo-Harris, 22 Kaleb Trask, 23 Quinn Tupaea.
Crusaders – 15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Fetuli Paea, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Sione Havili, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor (c), 1 George Bower.
Subs:16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Isi Tu’ungafasi, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Billy Harmon, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Leicester Fainga’anuku.
All over here in the Tron. Epic battle with @crusadersrugby coming out on top 32-19. @ChiefsRugby. Congrats to Sam for 150th and Aaron for his 100th. A couple of champions. #proud #ForEachOther #SammyDub150 Thanks to @GettyImages for the great images tonight pic.twitter.com/Bxru9o7V2F— Crusaders (@crusadersrugby) August 1, 2020