SR: Reds 29, Crusaders 57


The seven-time champions Crusaders are on a hot streak and travel to Brisbane aiming for their fifth straight win – as they take on the sliding Reds on Sunday.

However, the sixth-placed Crusaders, who will again be without skipper Kieran Read as he recovers from concussion, last won in Brisbane in 2008. Reds head coach Richard Graham admitted that his team will be hard-pressed to keep their record intact against the vastly improved Crusaders outfit.

Recent results:
2013: Crusaders won 38-9, Christchurch (preliminary play-offs)
2012: Crusaders won 15-11, Christchurch
2011: Reds won 18-13, Brisbane (Final)
2011: Reds won 17-16, Brisbane
2010:  Reds won 41-20, Brisbane
2009: Crusaders won 32-12, Christchurch


Reds: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Anthony Fainga’a, 11 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Curtis Browning, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Ed O’Donoghue, 20 Dave McDuling, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Ben Lucas, 23 Rod Davies.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Ryan Crotty (captain), 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 George Whitelock, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Tyler Bleyendaal, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. Sharks dropping out – they have no Plan B
    and their backs are so out of practice.
    Can’t see them beating the Blues or the
    Crusaders – especially not when Tina has
    a forgettable game.

  2. @Boertjie: Agree with you that the Sharks were disappointing in that game v the Brumbies. Ive got my tickets for the Crusaders v Sharks game next weekend but after watching in awe at that Crusaders side take apart the Reds last night, the Sharks are going to have to up their game a whole lot to win. I hope you are wrong however, about the Sharks at least being good enough to beat the Blues. If the team that is by a long way top of the SA conference cannot beat the Blues at the bottom of the NZ conference, SA rugby is in worse trouble than commentators like Mallett have noted.

    I don’t share the optimism of Bunny and others that think the Bulls are still “in the hunt”. They are not going to make in the backdoor this year. Playoffs are probably going to be contested by 3 NZ sides, 2 Oz sides and our one hope, the Sharks.

  3. On last night’s game, when last have 7 tries been scored by the wings in one game? There was a discussion on Ruggaworld a while ago with some like Brendan sharing my longing for running rugby with silky backline movements instead of the kick and charge and rolling maul stuff. He must be as happy as I am if he got to see the game.

    In the pub I was watching the game from, discussion turned after the game to why we can’t see more rugby like this game. One wag pointed out that it was because there was no SA side involved! He may be right but I answered back that it was because there was a very good SA ref involved. Just how much did Mr Peyper have to do with the flow of the game and just how much better our are our refs? No endless whistle blasts, scrum resets and referrals to the TMO. He was firm but consistent and probably set the tone with that yellow carding of Andy Ellis and the players responded by playing some very good rugby.

  4. The Reds were just woeful.

    Offhand I’d say about 5 tries resulting directly from kicks.

    Two from regained up-and-unders by the Crusaders. Two from poor kicks and no chase by the Reds. One kick-pass.