Crusaders crush Cats 43-15 in Super 14 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crusaders crush Cats 43-15 in Super 14

17/03/2006 08:16:56 PM Comments (0)

The Crusaders introduced their heavy artillery in the second half and blasted the Cats out of their Super 14 rugby match at Jade Stadium, Christchurch.

Held 12-12 by the Johannesburg-based side at halftime, the Crusaders scored four tries in the second half in a wave of relentless attacks and increased their lead at the top of the competition with a bonus-point 43-15 victory.

However, it took the injection of All Blacks Richie McCaw and Chris Jack early in the second half to gain the momentum they badly lacked in a messy first half.

When the Crusaders regained some composure, the Cats were under sustained pressure for long periods in the second half and only some courageous defence prevented a heavier loss.

Fullback Leon MacDonald and second five-eighth Aaron Mauger scored two tries each and replacements Jack and halfback Andrew Ellis scored one each.

The Cats used their big forwards to grind out two tries to hold the Crusaders 12-12 in the first half. Their five-pointers came from vastly contrasting styles to the Crusaders'.

MacDonald and Mauger crossed after the ball was moved wide, with the backline punching holes through the defence while the Cats scored theirs from forward drives.

Captain and flanker Wikus van Heerden scored his from a maul after a lineout following a series of scrums close to the Crusaders' line. KleinJan Tromp's try came from a forward momentum started by strong halfback Enrico Januarie.

The Crusaders' first-half was messy and lacking assertiveness by their own high standards.

Cats fullback Conrad Jantes made a few runs through what had been regarded previously as a solid Crusaders' defence in the middle.

Carter added a quick penalty in the second half as the Cats came under immense pressure from the pick-and-go before the homeside brought on McCaw and Jack.

Under pressure, the Cats cracked again this time from a deft Mauger kick against the flow of attack which he recollected for his second try.

Carter converted and the Crusaders led 22-12.

It was almost one-way traffic from there with the Cats pinned deep on defence and barely on the frontfoot.

MacDonald scored his second after the forwards pounded the Cats upfront and Carter and Mauger moved the ball wide quickly.

Then Jack was over 10 minutes later after a messy Cats lineout.

Jack then set up Ellis' try after another wave of attacks well after the fulltime hooter.

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