Crusaders vs Stormers

Discussion in 'Game Day' started by Alehana, Apr 14, 2012.

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Crusaders vs Stormers

Poll closed Apr 16, 2012.
  1. Crusaders 7+

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Crusaders 1-7

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  3. Stormers 1-7

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Stormers 7+

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Alehana

    Alehana Juniors

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    Christchurch Stadium, Christchurch

    This is the one everyone's been waiting for! The Stormers will be out to make it seven wins on the trot and maintain their unbeaten run this season when they face the Crusaders in Christchurch.

    The Stormers have been in super form this season and absolutely dominated the Highlanders last weekend, despite the travel factor and the tough match against the Bulls the previous week.

    Their defence has once again been incredible, and while they don't pick up too many four-try bonus points, they tend to take most of their try-scoring opportunities and bagged a couple in Dunedin.

    However, even if coach Allister Coetzee won't admit it, their eighth round clash will be their most daunting test yet.

    If the table-topping Stormers thought last week's fixture against the high-flying Highlanders would be tough, Saturday's match against the seven-time Super Rugby champions will be even tougher.

    No team in the history of Super Rugby is as formidable at home as the Crusaders. In their 40 home games against South African opposition, the Crusaders have won 36, lost two and drawn two.

    The Stormers' record against the Crusaders home and away doesn't make for pretty reading either - they've lost 10 of the last 12 games against the men in red and black, including five of the last six and have never won in Christchurch.

    Last year, the Crusaders managed to outmuscle the Stormers on two occasions - in the regular season and again in the semi-finals - but are under pressure to improve their moderate form this season which has fallen well below their usual standard.

    They edged past the Cheetahs in their first match at their new home stadium and narrowly beat the Lions in Johannesburg, before losing last weekend to the Bulls in Pretoria where they became the target of eye-gouging allegations.

    Fallout from the incident may be felt on Saturday come kick-off on Saturday. While the Stormers are in no way involved with the gouging claims, last week's incident may inflame often testy relationships between New Zealand and South Africa teams.

    The Crusaders may have home ground advantage, but the big question is how well Todd Blackadders's troops will handle the travel back from South Africa.



    The teams:

    Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Tom Donnelly, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
    Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Owen Franks, 18 Luke Romano, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Ryan Crotty, 22 Tom Marshall.

    Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
    Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Gio Aplon/ JP du Plessis.

    Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)

    http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,16024_7669118,00.html

    Latest odds

    Crusaders $1.45
    Stormers $2.65
     
  2. Alehana

    Alehana Juniors

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    Missed the draw option on the poll, sorry, first time in a while
     
  3. Alehana

    Alehana Juniors

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    Taylor puts Stormers to the sword




    14th April 2012 07:24
    [​IMG]Taylor: 31 points for the Crusaders



    The Crusaders brought the Stormers' unbeaten run in this season's Super Rugby tournament to an end thanks to a well-earned 31-24 win in Christchurch on Saturday.


    Fly-half Tom Taylor stole the show by contributing all of his side's points with a try, conversion and eight penalties in what was a flawless performance by the Crusaders young gun.

    Even though the visitors outscored their hosts two tries to one, their discipline let them down in the end but deserved to snatch a losing bonus point in injury time.

    It was always going to be a tough day at the office for the Stormers, after losing both their first-choice locks to injury in the opening 20 minutes of the match.

    But they soldiered on and managed to stay within touching distance of the seven-time champions throughout the thrilling encounter - cutting the deficit down to just one point (22-21) with a quarter of the game to play, before that man Taylor sealed the deal with his faultless boot.

    The result keeps the Stormers on top of the Super Rugby standings although the Chiefs could move ahead of them with a victory over the Cheetahs later in the round.

    The Crusaders moved up to seventh place overall but remained fourth in their conference indicating how tight the New Zealand conference is currently.

    There were errors in this match that will be rightly criticised, but there were also superlative exhibitions of skill, unrelenting showings of power and no small measure of guts.

    Taylor scored the first try of the game, after straight running and quick hands saw the ball worked to Corey Flynn on the wing and his inside pass put Taylor over.

    Taylor added the extras but the visitors hit back through a Peter Grant penalty and a Juan de Jongh try after the centre hacked on a spilled pass from Carter and won the footrace to score. Pietersen added the touchline conversion to level the scores (10-10).

    The Crusaders survived Wyatt Crockett's 10 minutes in the bin for a high tackle on Siya Kolisi which deserved little more than a penalty, but still went into the half-time sheds 19-13 up through three more Taylor penalties while Pietersen kept his team in the hunt with a penalty of his own.

    Taylor continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over, until the Stormers cut the gap when Dewaldt Duvenage's clever cross-kick was gathered by Bryan Habana who finished. Pietersen missed the conversion which would have put them ahead.

    Disaster struck for the Stormers after losing Rynardt Elstadt - shifted to lock in the absence of Andries Bekker and Eben Etzebeth - to the bin for a similar offence to that of Crockett.

    It was another dubious call by referee Chris Pollock, and the Stormers spent a crucial period of the game with only seven forwards on the park.

    Through Taylor's unerring boot, the hosts scored nine points while Elstadt was on the sideline and at 31-21 the game was over.

    Grant nailed a well-taken penalty well after the siren though to earn the visitors a losing bonus point they thoroughly deserved for their part in a magnificent game.

    The scorers:

    For Crusaders:
    Try: Taylor
    Con: Taylor
    Pens: Taylor 8

    For Stormers:
    Tries: De Jongh, Habana
    Con: Pietersen
    Pens: Grant, Pietersen 2

    Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Tom Donnelly, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
    Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Owen Franks, 18 Luke Romano, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Ryan Crotty, 22 Tom Marshall.
    Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
    Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Gio Aplon/ JP du Plessis.
    Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)

    http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3824_7671629,00.html
     

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