Cru­saders hu­mil­i­ate log-lead­ing Chiefs

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

son rounds re­main­ing, but could now be ousted from top spot in the con­fer­ence if they fail to take a point from next week’s match against the Auck­land Blues.

A slew of penal­ties against the Chiefs for break­down in­fringe­ments and Read’s deeply con­tentious first try helped the Cru­saders take a 19-8 lead into the half-time break af­ter a rel­a­tively com­pet­i­tive first spell.

All Black full­back Is­rael Dagg scored a try im­me­di­ately af­ter half­time and made Read’s sec­ond try three min­utes later to turn what might have been a close match into a rout for the Cru­saders. Dagg’s in­volve­ment en­sured the Cru­saders took the four-try bonus point they needed to keep their hopes alive of win­ning the con­fer­ence.

The Chiefs were put on the back foot in the first-half when ref­eree Jonathan White found per­sis­tent fault with their usu­ally adept play in con­tact and in the loose. Carter kicked four penal­ties to put the Cru­saders ahead 12-3 be­fore Read scored un­der the cross­bar on the tick of half-time.

Read dashed be­tween the posts from an at­tack­ing scrum, but ap­peared to have been held up and White re­ferred the de­ci­sion on the try to the tele­vi­sion of­fi­cial. Al­though re­peated re­plays sug­gested Read failed to ground the ball, the tele­vi­sion ref­eree al­lowed the try and the Cru­saders built a de­ci­sive half­time lead.

Dagg dashed into the back­line from full­back to score a try im­me­di­ately af­ter the break, then made what seemed a for­ward pass to Read to give the Cru­saders’ their third try and a dom­i­nat­ing 31-8 lead af­ter 46 min­utes. Cen­tre Ryan Crotty dived over in the right-hand cor­ner in the 57th to se­cure the vi­tal bonus point. Re­place­ment Tyler Bleyen­daal added the Cru­saders’s fifth try, from an in­ter­cept, in stop­page time.

The Chiefs scored a first-half try through winger Asaeli Tokoiro­tuma, briefly cut­ting the Cru­saders’ lead to 12-8. But their sec­ond try, to cen­tre Char­lie Ngatai, came in the 73rd when the Cru­saders had built an im­preg­nable 36-8 ad­van­tage.

“It was nice,” Read said. “We prob­a­bly set a nice stan­dard at the start of the game and we got a bit of flow on.

“It’s a win, but we know we have to come back again next week and do it again.” Scor­ers: CRU­SADERS. Tries: Kieran Read (2), Is­rael Dagg, Ryan Crotty, Tyler Bleyen­daal. Con­ver­sions: Dan Carter (3). Penal­ties: Carter (4) CHIEFS. Tries: Asaeli Tikoiro­tuma, Char­lie Ngatai. Con­ver­sion: An­drew Hor­rell. Penalty: Aaron Cru­den

BRACE YOUR­SELF: Kieran Read of the Cru­saders leaps over a ruck dur­ing yes­ter­day’s Su­per Rugby match against the Chiefs in Christchurch. Read scored two tries as his side crushed the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons.

Gallo Im­ages

DY­NA­MITE: Hein­rich Brüs­sow could line-up in a Su­per Rugby play-off game if the Chee­tahs win to­day.

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