Carter kicks Crusaders home in Super Rugby - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carter kicks Crusaders home in Super Rugby

21/05/2011 08:37:22 PM Comments (0)

Dan Carter led the Crusaders in a strong second half performance to forge a 25-19 win over the Chiefs in their Super Rugby clash on Saturday.

The win moved the Crusaders into the top three and within two points of New Zealand conference leaders the Blues, while the Chiefs - who salvaged a bonus point at the end - remained ninth overall.

Carter, who in the lead up to the game recommitted to New Zealand rugby for the next four years, proved why he was such a valuable player and showed no sign of the hamstring injury which had troubled him over the past month.

He contributed 20 of the Crusaders' 25 points with his boot, while the Chiefs had difficulty containing his running.

At halftime it was 6-6, and the turning point came immediately after the resumption when Luke Romano scored the Crusaders' sole try and their pack, featuring seven All Blacks, began to dominate the Chiefs' eight.

Four of the five penalties kicked by Carter came from scrums where the Crusaders monstered the Chiefs, as they put a sub-par first half behind them.

"We realised that the time to stand up was straight after halftime. We had to put them under pressure and, in that first 10 minutes, we were right in their half and got the points," said captain Richie McCaw.

"From there, we felt like we were in control."

It was a home game for the Crusaders, whose own stadium was badly damaged by the February Christchurch earthquake, and they chose to play in Napier - Hurricanes' territory by right - but home of Crusaders' stars Israel Dagg and Zac Guildford.

There were no tries in the first half, with both sides relying on kickers Carter and Stephen Donald to land two penalties apiece.

The injury-hit Crusaders had several scoring opportunities, but were hampered by a lack of finishers with key try scorers, Sean Maitland and Dagg, both nursing injuries along with star midfielder Sonny Bill Williams.

The first player to cross the try line was Romano, the only non-All Black in the Crusaders pack, who scored with a 25-metre run through a wilting Chiefs defence immediately after halftime.

Play had hardly restarted when the Crusader forwards demolished a Chiefs scrum, won a penalty and Carter kicked the three points to extend the lead to 16-6.

When Donald landed his third penalty for the Chiefs, the powerful Canterbury pack overwhelmed the Chiefs' eight again to win another scrum penalty for Carter to restore the 10-point margin.

Donald and Carter traded further penalties with Carter adding a drop goal - his only success from three attempts - before Liam Messam ended the match with a try for the Chiefs on fulltime.

The Crusaders play competition leaders the Reds in Brisbane next week, while the Chiefs have a bye.

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