Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition)

Crusaders canter over the Chiefs

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THE CRUSADERS were awarded a controvers­ial penalty try by referee Ben O’Keeffe with less than 10 minutes remaining that gave them breathing space to record a 45-23 victory over the Chiefs in Christchur­ch.

O’Keeffe decided that Ryan Crotty would have scored a try in the corner but for a head-high tackle by the Chiefs’ replacemen­t loose forward Lachlan Boshier, who was subsequent­ly sin-binned.

Boshier was the third player handed a 10-minute penalty by O’Keeffe during the intense encounter with Crusaders’ flyhalf Richie Mo’unga and prop Alan Ala’alatoa both spending time on the sidelines during the first half.

All Black Flyhalf contender Damian McKenzie’s pace, instinctiv­e play and attacking from closer to the line created issues for the Crusaders defence.

Mo’unga looked the more composed under pressure.

Mo’unga, however, also received the Crusaders’ first yellow card after he made a try-saving tackle but was then adjudged by O’Keeffe to have committed a profession­al foul by playing the ball while on the ground.

The Crusaders, however, did not concede while he was sidelined and actually extended their lead to 19-3 when Jordan Taufua scored his side’s third try after Matt Todd and Mo’unga had both crossed earlier.

Chiefs captain Sam Cane then gave his side the spark they needed when he was put into the open from 30-metres out and crashed over in the tackle of George Bridge.

O’Keeffe then dispatched Ala’alatoa to the sidelines – for a head-high tackle on McKenzie – which allowed the visitors to exploit the extra man and put winger Solomon Alaimalo across. — Reuters

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