Crusaders Bash Brumbies

The Crusaders finished their 2015 Super Rugby campaign with a 37-24 win over the Brumbies at the GIO Stadium in Canberra on Saturday.  It took only two minutes for the Brumbies to open the scoring as David Pocock dived over the line after a well executed driving maul.  Christian Leali’ifano stepped up to score the conversion.

The Saders hit back immediately through a Nemani Nadolo try in the fifth minute – Tom Taylor failing to get the extras.  Nevertheless the visitors managed to take the lead from an 11th minute penalty from the departing Daniel Carter.  Leali’ifano and Carter exchanged penalties before Matt Todd went over the line to score the Canterbury franchise’s second try of the match, though Carter’s conversion attempt went wide of the mark.

The home team were on the ascendancy and pulled further in front after Nadolo booted the ball ahead and beat Nicholas White in a foot-race before diving on the ball for the try as Todd Blackadder’s men held a 21-10 lead at the interval.  The Brumbies were reduced to 14 men after Jesse Mogg was sin-binned for deliberately knocking down a pass on his try line and Carter made no mistake from the resulting penalty.  The Crusaders were reduced to 14 themselves minutes later after Sam Whitelock was given a yellow for a professional foul before Jarrad Butler decreased the deficit with a converted try in the 48th minute.

Dan Carter scored his fourth penalty for the visitors before Stephen Larkham’s men scored a 65th minute penalty try and Lealiifano slotted the extras.  The visitors replied with a converted penalty try of their own to restore their 10-point lead.  Carter rounded-off the scoring with a 79th minute penalty to secure the victory and end the Brumbies’ hopes of finishing top of the Australian Conference.