Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Crusade gathers momentum

We had a terrific night last night at AMI Stadium. And the Crusaders were simply superb as they dismantled the Reds 38 to 9 in a dominant display.

In previewing the match yesterday, we mentioned that the Crusaders were running into form at the right time of the season, and last night's effort has sent out a warning to the Chiefs and the Bulls; the Crusaders are here to play.

The Crusaders were brutal on defence and at the breakdown last night; not in an illegal sense; they were simply to physical for the Queenslanders. Sam Whitelock led a fantastic forward effort, but Wyatt Crockett, Owen Franks and Luke Romano were not far behind. 

It wasn't really a night for scintillating back-play, but the Crusaders still ran the ball at every opportunity and the side was rewarded with four tries. Daniel Carter's try late in the first half where he ran 20 metres to score after a storming bust by Sam Whitelock typified the Crusaders' approach.

The much-vaunted Reds were a disappointment. Captain James Horwill exited early in the second half after a pretty anonymous performance. The halfs combination of Will Genia and Quade Cooper was ineffective, save one bust from Genia. Cooper was passing well before the line, and hardly took a tackle all night. We hope that Ewen McKenzie picks him for the Wallabies!

So the Crusaders are off to next week's semi-final, although their destination is as yet undetermined. They will be hoping that it's Waikato Stadium and not Loftus Versfeld, but on last night's performance, they could win anywhere.

1 comment:

pdm said...

You cannot mention them all, well in this case the `man of the match' award should go to the team - it was so hard to isolate anyone.

Ellis again showed he is in the top two half backs in NZ and it is past time that Hansen and co reinstated him to the All Blacks. Todd is in the same category and it is hard to see how Sam Cane is picked ahead of him these days.

The Reds were disappointing and were never allowed into the game. I cannot recall Genia ever being so ineffective even behind other well beaten packs he usually offered something but, not last night. Class players step up when the pressure is on - last night Genia joined Cooper in stepping back.