ESPN SCRUM

/ Super Rugby 2014

/ Match Pack

Super Rugby
Crusaders hold onto two-point win
May 24, 2014
Report Match details
Date/Time: May 24, 2014, 17:35 local, 05:35 GMT
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Highlanders 30 - 32 Crusaders
Half-time: 12 - 10
Tries: Fekitoa, Osborne, Robinson, BR Smith
Cons: Parker, Sopoaga
Pens: Parker, Sopoaga
Tries: Laulala, Nadolo Nasiganiyavi, Perry, Taufua
Cons: Slade 3
Pens: Slade 2
Nemani Nadolo of the Crusaders is wrapped up in a two-man tackle, Highlanders v Crusaders, Super Rugby, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, May 24, 2014
Nemani Nadolo was a constant threat throughout the match
© Getty Images
Enlarge
Related Links

Hulking Highlanders winger Patrick Osborne was denied an 80th minute match-winning try as the Crusaders hung on for a 32-30 Super Rugby win in Dunedin on Saturday. Television match official Vinny Munro ruled Crusaders fullback Israel Dagg had made a try-saving tackle in shunting Osborne into touch as fulltime ticked over.

The Crusaders, who had looked stale and unimaginative in last week's 30-25 loss to the Sharks, ran in four superb tries but were matched every step of the way by the Highlanders, who also crossed four times. The Crusaders dominated the opening exchanges of an absorbing match, relentless at the breakdown and pressuring the Highlanders into mistakes inside their own 22.

Winger Johnny McNicholl butchered two early chances, knocking on after five minutes with an open try-line beckoning down the right then shoveling the forward pass which denied Nemani Nadolo a try. But the constant pressure eventually told, the Highlanders defence stretched as the Crusaders swung the attack from side to side for blindside flanker Jordan Taufua to crash over.

A last minute TMO decision ended the Highlanders fightback in their 32-30 loss (Available in Australia Only)

The Highlanders dug in, and were gifted an advantage when Crusaders openside flanker Richie McCaw was yellow carded in the 21st minute. They ran in two tries in six minutes to take a 12-7 lead, hooker Ged Robinson crashing over for the first as the Highlanders battered the line from an attacking scrum.

Osborne crossed for the second soon after, showing power and pace after sharp handling and pinpoint passing from Aaron Smith and Malakai Fekitoa gave him space down the left. Colin Slade nailed a 38th minute penalty to narrow the Highlanders' lead to 12-10 at half-time, then the Crusaders hit the front barely a minute after the restart.

Nadolo set up the try with a bullocking run to the line, prop Tim Perry crashing over for the five-pointer with fellow front-rower Nepo Laulala adding to the tally eight minutes later with the Crusaders' third. The bonus point try came in the 64th minute after Dagg hooked a high pass to Nadolo out wide, and the Crusaders looked ominous with a useful 29-18 lead.

But tries to Fekitoa and fullback Ben Smith brought the Highlanders back into range, before Osborne's last-gasp dive for the corner was denied by Dagg's desperate tackle.

© AAP

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Australian GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Snooker - Shoot-out
    Golf - Africa Open
    Golf - WGC-Cadillac Championship
    Darts - UK Open finals
    Tennis - Davis Cup first round
    Boxing - Zolani Tete v Paul Butler
  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Tennis

    Ward comes back from the brink to beat Isner

    James Ward has beaten John Isner 6-7(4) 5-7 6-3 7-6(3) 15-13 to give Great Britain a 2-0 lead in their Davis Cup match against the United States

  • Football

    Evans denies spitting charge from FA

    Manchester United defender Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to spitting at Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse and will have his case heard on Friday night

  • Athletics

    Johnson-Thompson smashes Ennis record on way to gold

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson broke Jessica Ennis-Hill's British record, but fell agonisingly short of the world record as she claimed pentathlon gold at the European Indoor Championships in Prague on Friday

  • Golf

    England's Ford leads the way at Africa Open

    England's Matt Ford will take a narrow lead into the third day of the Africa Open after carding a second-round 66 at East London Golf Club

  • Football

    Bentaleb on verge of new long-term Tottenham deal

    Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bentaleb is poised to sign a new long-term deal at White Hart Lane, sources have told ESPN

  • Formula One

    Pointless drivers

    Where does Anthony Davidson's record of 24 Grands Prix without a point rank him?

  • Formula 1

    'I'm more than just a pay driver' - Ericsson

    ESPN talks to Marcus Ericsson about the "pay driver" label, aiming for his first career points and what life was really like as a rookie during Caterham's chaotic final season

  • Football

    Ronaldo and co. fear nutmegs at Real Madrid, says Bale

    Gareth Bale says he has to be sharp in training or the other Real Madrid galacticos will quickly be on his case

  • Formula 1

    Grand Prix Trust: Taking care of the carers

    Amid the glitz and glamour of modern grand prix racing it can be all too easy to forget about the men and women that keep the wheels turning. The Grand Prix Trust makes sure that's not the case

  • Football

    Evans-Cisse spitting spat exposes football's glaring flaws

    A spitting contest. Just what football needs to improve its reputation. You can always rely on football to stoop that little bit lower than you expected. Papiss Cisse of Newcastle United and Jonny Evans of Manchester United, who later protested his innoce

  • News
  • Features
Sponsored Links
Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income