Chiefs down Crusaders 24-19 in Super Rugby

The Crowd Roar Guru

By The Crowd, The Crowd is a Roar Guru

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    The Crusaders slumped to back-to-back defeats in the Super Rugby competition on Friday night, beaten by a committed Chiefs side 24-19 in Napier.

    The Crusaders, bristling with All Blacks, blew a series of chances in drizzly conditions and failed to impose themselves on a Waikato team enjoying the momentum of a comprehensive win over the Blues last week.

    The Crusaders are the most successful side in Super Rugby, with seven championships, but have been far from convincing this year and the result leaves them with only one win from three games.

    “In patches we put it together but too many penalties really killed us,” Crusaders captain Kieran Read said, promising a swift improvement.

    “There’s a long way to go in this competition, we’ll definitely be working on a few things.”

    The Chiefs’ youthful pack remained undaunted by their seasoned opponents and recorded a two-try-to-one victory.

    Defence dominated the opening stages as Aaron Cruden kicked a penalty in the first minute for the Chiefs and Tyler Bleyendaal missing a chance to level after five minutes but nailing a second attempt.

    Cruden then squandered two penalty opportunities but the Chiefs remained dominant, their scrum not intimidated by the Crusaders’ All Blacks-studded pack.

    Fly-half Cruden restored the Chiefs’ lead after Israel Dagg was penalised for a shoulder charge, before teammate Liam Messam broke through for the first try of the match.

    The ball passed through seven pairs of hands after a line-out for Messam to score, Cruden easily converting.

    Former league star Sonny Bill Williams, who defected from the Crusaders in the off-season, conceded a needless penalty to his former team to narrow the gap but the Chiefs went into half-time up 16-6.

    The Crusaders piled on the pressure after the break and were rewarded when Robbie Fruean latched onto a Kieran Read offload for a try, with Bleyendaal successfully converting.

    Sona Taumalolo hit back with second try for the Chiefs, powering over the line past a scrambling Crusaders defence, but the Christchurch-based team kept in touch two penalties to make it 21-19.

    With four minutes to play, Cruden kicked another penalty and the Chiefs defence did enough to secure the win.

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    The Crowd Says (8)

    • March 10th 2012 @ 8:32am
      Kuruki said | March 10th 2012 @ 8:32am | ! Report

      I have to say the Highlanders and the Chiefs currently look like real Semi final threats. Dave Rennie and Jamie Joseph will be the next All Black coaching combination.

    • March 10th 2012 @ 8:52am
      nickoldschool said | March 10th 2012 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      Chiefs front row Sona Taumalolo – Mahonri Schwalger – Ben Tameifuna had such a great first half. Hadn’t see Crusaders’ scrum under such pressure for a long time.

      • Roar Guru

        March 10th 2012 @ 11:50am
        jeznez said | March 10th 2012 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        Absolutely Nick. Arizona T has improved out of sight in the last year or so. The best I’ve ever seen him scrummage was when he came on as a sub in the opening game of the WC, he has really brought that form on into this season. Young Ben Tameifuna is looking the goods as well. The Crusaders are a superb scrum and that was a ding dong battle.

        Can’t believe the young kid is doing so well at 20, needs to run some puppy fat off, he will only get stronger over the next 6-8 years, exciting prospect.

        • March 10th 2012 @ 8:00pm
          Sam Taulelei said | March 10th 2012 @ 8:00pm | ! Report

          And the good news for Chiefs fans is that Tameifuna isn’t their first choice tighthead anyway. Ben Afeaki at 127 kgs is expected to return for the second half of the competition.

      • Roar Guru

        March 10th 2012 @ 3:19pm
        Jiggles said | March 10th 2012 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

        I second that. I was truly impressed by this “no name” pack.

        The Crusaders just look very average to me.

      • March 12th 2012 @ 5:13am
        mania said | March 12th 2012 @ 5:13am | ! Report

        awesome tussle amonst the front row at scrum time and around the field. Tameifuna held his own and gave the franks bros something to think about. never seen owenFranks take a backwards step at scrum time before, though to his credit he came back. still chiefs deserved this win

    • March 10th 2012 @ 3:33pm
      Mike Hoffman said | March 10th 2012 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

      How scary is it to think Ian Foster is now on the ABs selection/coaching panel, when you take a look at the Chiefs performances over the years under his coaching and selections?? Dave Rennie has, in the space of three weeks, turned the Chiefs into big potential finalists…ok, so there’s a long way to go yet, and no doubt injuries will come into play, but what a transformation..As for Foster being on the ABs panel, I shudder to think where we’ll end up…hopefully the NZRFU will wake up in time to make changes, and look to 2015 and a world cup defence, with coaches who have a proven, successful track record at Super rugby, ITM cup and age-group level..or have THEY all gone off-shore??

      • March 10th 2012 @ 4:05pm
        allblackfan said | March 10th 2012 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

        jamie joseph and david rennie are putting their hands up as contenders. mark hammond seems to be getting there; pat lam should go back to bath, blackadder needs RM and DC back badly!!

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