Chiefs vs Crusaders: Super Rugby live scores, blog

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    Chiefs vs Crusaders

    Super Rugby, 19 May, 2017

    ANZ National Stadium, Suva
    Fulltime - Chiefs 24, Crusaders 31
    Chiefs   Crusaders
    24 FINAL SCORE 31
    4 TRIES 3
    0 DROP GOALS 0
    Referee: Michael Fraser
    Touch judges: Brendon Pickerill & Paul Williams
    TMO: Shane McDermot

    It’s only 15 days until the British and Irish Lions play their first match in New Zealand. Several leading All Blacks are injured presenting fringe contenders with a chance to push for a test place. Who will stand out in this top of the table clash in Suva?

    Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 5:35pm (AEST).

    The Crusaders preserved their faultless record in 2017 with a dominant forward display against the Hurricanes last week. However the competition leaders have struggled in recent times against the Chiefs dropping six of their last eight games.

    There are a number of individual clashes which will not only settle the outcome of this contest, but potentially resolve a few questions for the All Black selectors, too.

    Chiefs tighthead Nepo Laulala is marking Crusaders loosehead Joe Moody. Moody is almost certain to be in the All Blacks, but Laulala has been knocking on the door for a more regular place and a strong showing here will enhance those prospects.

    Dominic Bird has had a dynamic season and could usurp Luke Romano as the preferred third choice lock with another bustling effort. The Crusaders destroyed the Hurricanes in the lineouts last week so the Chiefs will have to be accurate in that department.

    Matt Todd plays his 101st Super Rugby match and opposed to Sam Cane will be looking to repeat the form which saw him outmuscle Ardie Savea. Cane is the next captain in line to Kieran Read, but is he the best openside in New Zealand?

    With Read and Liam Squire down, Crusaders No.8 Jordan Taufua has become an All Black possibility. Can Taufua step up in this game.

    In the backs, Damien McKenzie scored a cracking try in the corresponding fixture last year and will need to continue those high standards to keep Jordie Barrett’s challenge at bay.

    Jack Goodhue is an underrated centre and Seta Tamanivalu is thriving on the wing and will be determined to excel in front of his home fans

    The Crusaders last win against the Chiefs was 18-17 in Hamilton in 2014.

    The Crusaders are approaching their own record for most consecutive Super Rugby wins which is 15 set in 2002-03.

    Hopefully this is more exciting than last Saturday. It has all the ingredients for a blockbuster!

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    The Crowd Says (157)

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    • 2:08pm
      Dopplerman said | 2:08pm | ! Report

      Amazing game but full cred to crusaders coaching and team epitome of unity .

      Mo’unga cool as a cucumber , skills aplenty , should be fast tracked into the greater ABs squad .

      What was really interesting was this performance was on the back returning from s/Africa Bulls then beating the hurricanes and another flight to Fiji to beat the chiefs who were fresh off a bye .

      What can they do when fresh and at full strength is something we can all look forward too .

    • 7:27am
      Uncle Eric said | 7:27am | ! Report

      One day SR will get neutral officials…. Incompetence or bias? Either way it was an exceedingly poor performance from the officials. This together with the conference system makes a mockery of SR has a competition. Lots of brilliant individual games, but no real reward for the top teams.

    • 10:42pm
      Lara said | 10:42pm | ! Report

      Made my Friday night, really enjoyed watching the game…..hope u both make the playoffs in good positions, really deserve it.

      • Roar Rookie

        Kirky said | 11:07pm | ! Report

        We saw around forty players (reserves inclusive) last week in the Crusaders and the Hurricanes game and the same today in the Chiefs and Crusaders game ~ We were all looking at possibly the best eighty rugby players in the game of rugby at the moment belting the hell out of each other on two successive week days!

        There was a number of All Blacks and a number of Journeymen players in both Teams but they all co-ordinated to make a spectacle on two days, of the best rugby you could possibly witness!

        Brilliant rugby all round!

        • Roar Guru

          The Neutral View From Sweden said | 11:37pm | ! Report

          Having some trouble with the mathematic here Kirky?

          20 + 20 + 20 = 80?

          • Roar Rookie

            Huw Tindall said | 1:16am | ! Report

            To be a pedant when you include the benches it’s 23+23+23 = 69 individual players….this also assumes the Crusaders didn’t change their side from the Canes game.

        • Roar Guru

          Kia Kaha said | 11:49pm | ! Report

          I don’t know about brilliant rugby, Kirk. There were lots of errors from both sides.

          But they had what many other games have lacked this year: a hotly contested game that went down to the wire.

          With the pressure came mistakes. But there were also big plays that turned the game. And among the line breaks there was big defence.

          Brilliant rugby? At times. Nail biting rugby? Most definitely.

    • Roar Rookie

      TonyH said | 8:18pm | ! Report

      One of the best matches of the season; the epitome of all that’s good about Super Rugby … great attacking skills and superb defence. It had to be between two NZ teams. Aussies simply cannot match this standard of rugger!

      • Roar Guru

        The Neutral View From Sweden said | 9:20pm | ! Report

        That was a great game too watch. Lots of entertainment and some stellar individual performances. I feel for Cruden, if he just had nailed his kicks, Chiefs would have won and Cruden would have been MoM.

        I wonder why Cruden kicked from the beginning today instead of McKenzie?
        Watched the game at Un Irish Pub in Chiang Mai with the usual Kiwi expat boys. We speculated that Hansen is starting to worry – a lot – about who is gonna kick for the AB’s. BBBBB are gona play fullback tomorrow and we all know Cruden is good enough to start against the Lions.
        We all thought we were really smart until Cruden started to kick…

        • 10:03pm
          Rugby Tragic said | 10:03pm | ! Report

          Hi NV, it was great entertainment … very enjoyable as I didn’t have currency on the result unlike the game to start at 3 am! (AEST)

          I’m sure Hansen will be fondling his worry beads a little about who to entrust to take kicks from the tee… I suspect it will be BB, or if they chose him, Dagg. I don’t think the AB’s will want to be leaving 7 out on the ground as Cruden did against the BIL, two kicks (5 points) which cannot be considered difficult… Got to say that other than his kicking Cruden had a great game in all other facets.

          That 5 points made a huge difference in the way the Chiefs had to approach the last 10-12 mins.. Having to score converted tries twice was always going to be tough they gave it a crack.

          Whatever Hansen does though, I hope he does not make his selections purely on the basis of who is to kick for goals (meaning to replace ‘a perceived better player for better kicker)… I would hope he does chose his team based on his desired game plan … If he is going to do that then Lima So’oaga should be chosen at No 10.but other than kicking I think that he lacks a little in other roles compared to BB and AC.

          • Roar Guru

            The Neutral View From Sweden said | 11:10pm | ! Report

            Hello RT

            And what a pleasant watching experience with a capacity crowd who really were up for it.
            Must have been great marketing for a Fijian Super Rugby team in the future. We all know that right now a project like that lacks funding. Still, I refuse to accept that it should be impossible. There must be a way.
            With a Fijian team in NRC this season, that could maybe be the foundation for something bigger.

            Cruden was awesome today. And his play was not all due to a good Chief pack, he was in control even when the Crusaders was in his face.
            He missed two sitters, but he (and McKenzie) missed a couple of other also. Just goes to show that with no steady foot from the tee, you don’t win close games (unless you play the Wallabies *S*).

            BBBBB might be the kicker, Dagg might be the backup, but this is a worry, especially with todays game as an example of the importance of a solid goal kicker.
            Jordie Barrett? Even if Jordie is a very special player it would be a huge surprise if he started the first Test match against the Lions. Most likely he will be on the bench I think.

            I can see one far fetched opening for Jrodie though. I have my doubts about Julian Savea for this series. I predict that the Lions will field Farrell, Sexton, Murray and Hogg and they are all seriously good kickers and it will be raining high balls around AB’s back three. Arguably Savea’s high ball catching and kicking is way below Bender and Dagg’s quality. Maybe Hansen plays Dagg at 11 and Jordie at 14? Well well, just me speculating.

            We will see how Hansen eventually call this, but I doubt he does not have some kind of plan that we don’t know about. And I just can’t see him “gifting” the Lions 6-10 points per game due to poor kicking from the tee.

    • 8:16pm
      Kuruki said | 8:16pm | ! Report

      Best result for NZ rugby. Now the Crusaders need to go through undefeated and secure a NZ final should they make it to the end. Thought the Crusaders got away with 10 points handed to them by poor officiating. Owen franks interference was deliberate and cynical therefore should have been awarded a penalty. The referee then missed a blatantly obvious knock on before the questionable Tamanivalu pass. Chiefs were in that game but just a poor period toward the end and two really poor throws from Elliot stopped them stealing it at the end.

      • Roar Guru

        The Neutral View From Sweden said | 9:21pm | ! Report

        They could not really steal it, only a draw was possible in the end.

      • 11:43pm
        Jibba Jabba said | 11:43pm | ! Report

        To be fair Harris did not look quick enough to get to the tackle but for some refs that doesn’t matter.
        The ref did miss a couple of knock ons and a touchie even picked him up on one.

        Poor ol Hika wont be happy, but then Brodie should have been up the front so a short fast throw all that was required. The Chiefs will be thinking that was one that got away but they acknowledged was their own fault.. very humble they were…

    • 7:58pm
      Hokonui27 said | 7:58pm | ! Report

      Great game…..two committed teams going for it……congratulations to both teams….onya Crusaders 12/12…..

    • 7:58pm
      Katipo said | 7:58pm | ! Report

      Tell me again why Pacific Islands can not be involved in Super Rugby?

      Well done Suva. An amazing atmosphere…

    • 7:49pm
      Rugby Tragic said | 7:49pm | ! Report

      MOTM for me was Richie Mo’unga… 7/8 kicks and couple of breaks, one very telling… great potential for higher honours, in particular after Cruden leaves (Cruden also played very well but kicking was bloody horrible).

      • 8:02pm
        Bruce Peters said | 8:02pm | ! Report

        Isn’t he growing… It’s like he has been freed of expectation, and is just enjoying himself. If S. Robertson has any thing, it’s the ability to set his players tree.

      • Roar Guru

        Kia Kaha said | 8:38pm | ! Report

        A fair shout RT. I really like the look of this kid Goodhue. Plenty of toe and a good head on such young shoulders.

        The Lions is too early but definitely a player like Mo’unga worth bringing on the EOYT matches. With Crotty they make a formidable combination. Something that’s been missing with the Crusaders in recent years.

        • 9:36pm
          Rugby Tragic said | 9:36pm | ! Report

          KK, gotta feel a little for Lima Sopoaga, while he has been injured, Richie Mo’unga I think and stepped over him.

          In my way of thinking, Beauden Barrett will be the No 1 choice by a stretch as he is proven that he can break a match open. In pure purists terms, I think Cruden is much more a ‘traditionalist’ first five, he is a great ready of the game and very courageous in defence lacking only BB’s extreme pace for which there is no substitute.

          For that reason, in spite of Cruden departing NZ, I think Hansen will go with these two for the BIL’s tests.

          For the RC, Sopoaga and Mo’unga, I’d hope that they might get some game time, so it might be clearer then.

          Yes Goodhue was very good and has been for a while but in a log jam, I find it hard to go past Anton Lienert-Brown who, after a couple of ‘quiet games’ played very well tonight. He also has had AB experience and I think a superstar in the making.

          • Roar Guru

            Kia Kaha said | 9:58pm | ! Report

            I was impressed by Lienert-Brown last year and particularly liked his offloading game. Good to see him have a good game tonight.

            Crotty is superb on defence and both have versatility in terms of where they can play in the centres.

            That leaves Fekitoa and SBW in the mix with a few outsider options like Laumape or Aso.

            But I agree we’re likely to see Crotty and LB which begs the question: can Owen Franks kick goals? We know he can’t score tries but what’s he like with the boot?

            • 10:13pm
              Rugby Tragic said | 10:13pm | ! Report

              ALB is a very smart rugby player… last year, his breakout year, he was great .. his option taking for one so young was just brilliant and of course he can play both 12 or 13. IMO he definitely will be one. Probably Crotty will be the other starter unless SBW starts showing that he is back over the next month or so.

              I think Proctor (injured) might be a better prospect than Laumape but neither against the BIL I think Hansen will go with experience, that means the 3 above with Feks, Moala in the mix.

      • Roar Rookie

        Kirky said | 11:14pm | ! Report

        R/T, Mo’unga should be in the mix sooner or later, ~ I like him a lot! ~ What think you mate?

        • 2:19am
          Rugby Tragic said | 2:19am | ! Report

          Ohh Kirky…. Mo’unga is a talent no doubt, but probably, at the moment 4th or even 5th in-line against BIL’s… I state this as I am sure Hansen will go with experience.

          At the moment (injuries aside), I think the order might be B Barrett, Cruden, Sopoaga, Mo’unga/Donald (yeap I think he will be in the mix due to his experience.

          Richie Mo’unga will get a chance with the departure of Cruden at the end of this year, if he does, he will need to grab it with both hands as Otere Black is another ‘young turk’ who will be putting his hand up. And don’t forget MacKenzie, it is understood will be moving to No 10 post AC… A bit of depth here but one thing I think Hansen will be looking for is a five eight who can kick is goals …

      • 11:44pm
        Jibba Jabba said | 11:44pm | ! Report

        Playing himself into AB contention… the other boys better keep healthy..

    • 7:43pm
      Rugby Tragic said | 7:43pm | ! Report

      Congratulations Kia Kaha …. congratulations Marius…

      Very entertaining game…. you guys are gonna be tough to beat …

      Commiserations OB, Chiefs though had their chances ans never game up … kicking cost you guys plenty …

      • Roar Guru

        Kia Kaha said | 7:53pm | ! Report

        Thanks RT. Let’s see if the rest of my picks come in….

        These NZ derbies are great preparation for the Lions but they sure are attritional.

        If Crotty and Todd (and McNichol for the Chiefs) are sidelined for a bit, that’ll be a strain. But I have been impressed with how the Crusaders have responded to the recent spate of injuries after a good run.

        Speaks volumes for the squad culture but also demonstrates the benefits of winning. Belief = confidence = easier to step up for replacements.

      • Roar Guru

        Marius Ciliers said | 8:52pm | ! Report

        Thx RT.
        I’l be Marauding in front of the tellie tonight for them Blues to thrash the Stormers?

        • 9:38pm
          Rugby Tragic said | 9:38pm | ! Report

          Haha! … *psst … whispering* …. y’know … so will I … *S* …

          Need to set the alarm though… starts at 3 am! … an obscene time

    • 7:40pm
      Rugby Tragic said | 7:40pm | ! Report

      Great game! … boy Cruden’s kicking cost them …

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