Crusaders crush Sunwolves 33-11

Oliver Matthews Roar Guru

By Oliver Matthews, Oliver Matthews is a Roar Guru

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    The Crusaders have beaten the Sunwolves 33-11 in a wet and windy Christchurch in a match that confirmed what we all knew already: The Crusaders were always going to be too good, the Sunwolves would try hard, make it difficult, but never really threaten.

    While the game might not have thrown up too many surprises, there were a few interesting talking points.

    It was great to see Israel Dagg and Owen Franks back on the field and both looked good. There’s still more for them to do to get back into peak performance and it was a tough game for Dagg to really get into but it would have put a smile on the faces of the Crusaders fans to see them both back playing.

    While it wasn’t an all out try fest, the weather forced the Crusaders to have to work much harder for their scores.

    It took them a while to adjust to the conditions but they kept at it and gradually wore down the Sunwolves.

    That was fine for today but against better opposition the Crusaders are going to need to learn to adapt quicker.

    For the Sunwolves there’s the good and the bad. From the good side they have clearly worked hard on their defence.

    In the past few weeks they have been missing and sliding off too many tackles and the scorelines have looked ugly as a result.

    Today though their mentality and technique was much better and they only missed 11 from well over a hundred tackles.

    Unfortunately they still lack the real ability to unlock the opposition defence. Their strength of being exciting in open play was not going to help today as the weather meant the game was much tighter throughout.

    They kept working hard in attack and had some long periods of possession but they couldn’t seem to create too many genuine opportunities to score.

    Did we learn too much from this game that we didn’t already know? Not really but it was good to see the Sunwolves working so hard to improve their defence.

    The Crusaders will be glad to have picked up the full points potential from this game and get back to the top of the Kiwi conference.

    They will have harder games and better opponents but you’ve got to win these ones too. Next week will be a key test – playing the Brumbies at home wont be a walk over.

    The Sunwolves can be proud of their performance today but sadly there aren’t any points for pride and they will continue to struggle in this tournament.

    Their road trip continues against the Canes next week and if the weather is better than their new defence will be really tested.

    Final score
    Crusaders 33
    Sunwolves 11

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • April 21st 2018 @ 9:13pm
      Woodsman said | April 21st 2018 @ 9:13pm | ! Report

      To be fair, it was a win but not quite the “çrushing” expected.

      • April 22nd 2018 @ 4:41am
        Cuw said | April 22nd 2018 @ 4:41am | ! Report

        given the hailstorm midway – they must be happy to come off the park with a win.

        in tropical countries – we come off the ground when there is lightening around !!!

    • April 22nd 2018 @ 3:35am
      tim said | April 22nd 2018 @ 3:35am | ! Report

      “playing the Brumbies at home wont be a walk over.”

      Yeah, but pretty close to one.

    • April 22nd 2018 @ 4:44am
      Cuw said | April 22nd 2018 @ 4:44am | ! Report

      LOL – BEN FRANKS looked hungry for some scrums 🙂

      BUT SERIOSLY – can some one with knowledge of the Jap team tell , how many of those foreigners can play for Japan at the world cup?

      else imo – this is a pointless exercise and nothing like the Argie team in super rugger.

      commentary said Japs had used 43 players !!!

      • April 22nd 2018 @ 9:05am
        Ben said | April 22nd 2018 @ 9:05am | ! Report

        You mean Owen Franks…

      • Roar Guru

        April 22nd 2018 @ 11:31am
        The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 22nd 2018 @ 11:31am | ! Report

        Apart from 3-4 players in the squad, everyone else is or will be eligible to play for Japan.

    • April 22nd 2018 @ 5:50am
      Ben said | April 22nd 2018 @ 5:50am | ! Report

      How was that hail and thunder and lightning storm that blasted over the game?
      Good to see Dagg and Franks back and will relieve a few AB selectors stress in regards to props around the country.
      Not a great performance from the Saders but got the job done against a frisky Sunwolves outfit with nothing to lose.
      Thought after 5 mins being 12-0 up they put the cue in the rack a bit expecting a walk over.
      Was hoping the Sunwolves would prevent a bonus point…..

    • April 22nd 2018 @ 12:52pm
      Muzzo said | April 22nd 2018 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

      Great showing by the “Moon Doggies”, & it goes to show how much they have improved under Joseph. Like the hailstones bouncing off players heads, was something else.
      Great to see ex All Blacks sons performing well, in the likes of Michael, for the Sunwolves,& Ethan for the Saders.

    • April 22nd 2018 @ 3:40pm
      Ralph said | April 22nd 2018 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

      In my opinion the Crusader’s won’t take a huge amount from that game, other than the five points. Whatever game plan existed for running rugby went right out the window as first the weather seriously packed in, with lightning, thunder, hail and soaking heavy rain shortly into the first half. On top of this the ref played very loose breakdown interpretation that put even more pressure on accuracy of handling. Which simply didn’t hold up.

      What resulted was a messy arm wrestle of a game.

      For the Crusaders, Mitchell Drummond stood out to me as having a very below average game. Not only was his passing slow, inaccurate at times and lumbering but his kicking game was also very poor. At one stage putting a kick up so vertical he put all his forwards offside, and that was his second use of that kick in quick succession. Aside from a good breakdown penalty, later in the game, he put a lot pressure on his number 10 and made the Sunwolves defensive job just that much easier.

      At least Dagg and Franks made it through about 55 minutes without injury, so with Mo’unga, Whitelock, Havili, Goodhue all looking like they will be back sooner than later coach Robertson might flush this game, bank the five and look based the injury run to the back half of what is a long competition.

      Sunwovles played the weather and ref much better, much quicker in this game. Whatever the laws, it was a regular occurrence that there were people off heir feet and entry into the breakdown was hardly policed at all. Overall, their defensive line speed was very good all match and the amount of pressure they created through defence was outstanding. Sunwolves also got the rub of the green in the game, lifting two players through the horizontal without yellow and playing the halfback more than once without penalty.

      Sunwolves locks went extremely well in the lineoutsj but had a torrid time playing the ref for a what was a terrible scrum effort in general. At times they had to collapse it on their own ball just to keep it, such was the pressure. Line out wise the Crusader’s were a shambles all night, a serious problem playing wet weather when punching the sidelines down field is such a useful strategy.

      For me the Sunwolves standout really was captain Lubaschagne, a class act on the field. For the Crusaders, how grey is Mike Delaney’s 36 year old hair!

      • April 22nd 2018 @ 8:42pm
        Cantab said | April 22nd 2018 @ 8:42pm | ! Report

        Really don’t rate Drummond and that was the worst I’ve seen him play. That said conditions were as bad as they get. Miss Andy Ellis, he wasn’t flash but he had a really good pass and with a pack going forward and a quality 5/8, that’s all we need.

        As you say, it’s great to see Dagg and Franks back. I’m real interested to see the team lineup this week.

      • April 22nd 2018 @ 8:53pm
        cuw said | April 22nd 2018 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

        the BLUES shud do a deal – swap Mike Delany for any flyhalf they have.

        the dads army – Delany . King , Bateman – and the unheard of Prop played well .

        little Blackadder played hard – he has to show why they bought him , becoz the alternate would have been Shannon Frizzel.

        • Roar Guru

          April 23rd 2018 @ 8:05am
          Ralph said | April 23rd 2018 @ 8:05am | ! Report

          Bateman had a really great game didn’t he.

          • April 23rd 2018 @ 2:38pm
            cuw said | April 23rd 2018 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

            he always does

            even last season he was good

            maybe he will play more

            he is lucky – gets some game time

            there are guys in the squad i have not seen yet – like JOne macilai.

            BUT Crotty did not look so fly

            i get a feeling he is one bad head knock away from retirement….

      • Roar Guru

        April 22nd 2018 @ 9:47pm
        The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 22nd 2018 @ 9:47pm | ! Report

        For me the Sunwolves standout really was captain Lubaschagne, a class act on the field.

        He has looked Springbok quality all season. One the finds that Joseph has done in the Top League. I guess JJ will do everything he can to convince Lappies to play Tests for Japan (I think he is eligible for residency) in June.

        • April 23rd 2018 @ 1:46am
          Cuw said | April 23rd 2018 @ 1:46am | ! Report

          with the quotas in place – lot of saffa players will be looking at playing rugger for other countries.

          • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:33am
            Pistol Pete said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:33am | ! Report

            not all saffas, just them with a lighter tone on their skin…

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