Canterbury beat Waikato 19-13 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Canterbury beat Waikato 19-13

14/02/2009 06:48:34 PM Comments (0)

Centre Casey Laulala scored two tries as defending Super 14 champions Canterbury beat the Waikato Chiefs 19-13 on Saturday.

Laulala opened the Crusaders' scoring with a try after 14 minutes and sealed the win with his second try on fulltime, serving up the first win at Super 14 level to incoming Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder.

Blackadder replaced Robbie Deans, who became Australia's head coach last year.

For much of the period between Laulala's two tries, the Chiefs pressed the Crusaders and were even superior in many areas but they never took the lead.

"I'm pretty happy with the way we played," Crusaders and All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said.

"In the first game of the season you can't expect to be perfect, but we had opportunities today and we took them.

"It's good to get out of pre-season mode and into competition mode."

Laulala's first try followed on from a well-placed grubber kick from flyhalf Colin Slade, who took over the No. 10 jersey from injured All Black Dan Carter.

Slade converted and Canterbury led 7-0.

All Blacks centre Richard Kahui scored for the Chiefs in the 22nd minute, after winger Lelia Masaga had pounced on an untended kick into Canterbury territory from flyhalf Stephen Donald.

Donald missed the conversion and Canterbury led 7-5.

Centre Tim Bateman intercepted a loose pass from Waikato to score three minutes before halftime, putting Canterbury up 14-5 at the break.

"Scoring just before halftime is always a bonus and it was again tonight," McCaw said.

Donald kicked a 42nd-minute penalty to cut the lead to 14-8, then Masaga scored an unconverted try in the 60th minute as the Chiefs cut the Crusaders' lead to a single point.

Waikato were then largely the dominant side, overwhelming Canterbury's scrum to set up Masaga's try and dominate possession in the loose.

They failed to outwit a tenacious Canterbury defence, however, and were held scoreless for the remainder of the match.

Canterbury clung to their one-point margin from the 60th until the 80th minute when Laulala scored his second try to seal victory.

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