Crusaders too classy for Brumbies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crusaders too classy for Brumbies

14/05/2010 09:53:28 PM Comments (0)

The Brumbies missed out on the Super rugby finals for a sixth straight year and Australia lost another front rower for the start of the international season as the Crusaders triumphed 40-22 in Christchurch on Friday.

Starting the final round in fourth spot, two positions and one point ahead of the Crusaders, the Brumbies were out-played in their winner-take-all clash at AMI Stadium.

Compounding the Brumbies frustration and adding another furrow to the brow of Wallabies coach Robbie Deans was a fractured jaw suffered by Test hooker Stephen Moore.

The Brumbies rake will stay behind in New Zealand to undergo an operation and is expected to be sidelined for eight to 12 weeks.

At the very least that will rule him out of Australia's four inbound Tests against Fiji, England and Ireland and possibly the first part of the Tri-Nations tournament.

Moore's misfortune follows that of another Test incumbent front rower, Benn Robinson, who will miss at least the first four internationals of Australia's 2010 campaign with a fractured arm.

It was another deflating night in Christchurch for the Canberra-based franchise who haven't won there since 2000 and have now conceded over 30 points in each of their last six visits.

"We wanted to be in the top four and we haven't done it, so it's not a happy camp at the moment," Brumbies coach Andy Friend told AAP.

The seven-time Super champion Crusaders outscored the Brumbies five tries to three, taking control of the match with two five-pointers in two minutes just before the half hour.

Down 22-10 at the break, the Brumbies threatened to mount a revival after their leading try scorer, prop Ben Alexander, the only remaining fit incumbent Wallabies front rower, crossed for the seventh time this season.

Centre Matt Giteau's conversion got the Brumbies to within five points, but it proved to be a false dawn as fog descended on the Stadium.

The Crusaders piled on 18 straight points to book their ninth successive finals appearance and condemn the Brumbies to another heart-breaking near miss.

The Brumbies paid the price for some sloppy and undisciplined play, with almost all of the Crusaders' tries coming from either turnovers and penalties.

"They played particularly well when we did turn over the ball and they exploited us around the back and on the fringes," Brumbies flanker George Smith told AAP following his final appearance for the franchise.

Smith lamented the nine straight penalties his team conceded and coach Andy Friend acknowledged discipline and errors cost his side dearly.

"Too many mistakes, too many penalties, we just couldn't get momentum in the game and they were too good," Friend said.

The Crusaders scored the first try through winger Sean Maitland, but centre Tyrone Smith converted the Brumbies' third intercept of the night into their first try.

The Crusaders produced a match-tilting surge with 12 quick points, with No.8 Kieran Read crossing following a fumble by Brumbies prop Salesi Ma'afu and two minutes later, prop Owen Franks dotted down.

An undisciplined piece of play by halfback Josh Valentine signalled the beginning of the end for the Brumbies.

He gave away a penalty by stamping on McCaw's hand at the breakdown and the Crusaders swept down-field with their talismanic captain crashing over the line from a forward drive.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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