All New Zealand derbies normally gives us great matches and this one dissapoint on Saturday when the Crusaders won an epic battle 30-27 on Saturday.
The Crusaders had the better start of the two teams and slotted an early penalty over to take the lead 3-0 after 3 min.
The game in the first twenty minutes gave us some hard hits from both side and defenses that hold eachother. It was the Highlanders that scored next with a penalty of their own to make the scores 3 all fter 22 min.
The first try cme from Evans for the Highlnders and they took a 10-3 lead. The Crusaders did hit back though through a penalty to chip away on the lead.
The game was evenly match and they hammered away at each other and a brillinat kick ahead was picked up by Noholo gave the Highlanders their second try and a lead of 17-6 after 37 min.
This was also the halftime score and a lot to do for the Crusaders to get back into the game. The Crusaders would have feel hard done by in that first forty minutes as they did most of the play and had most of the territory and ball but behind on scoreboard.
Again it shows that more is not always good and less most of the times means more on the scoreboard.
The Highlanders were first to score some points in the second with a penalty and took the lead to 20-6 after 42 min.
The Highlanders were playing a very clever game using the ittle kicks to put ball behind the Saders and got them their third try of the match which was just plain class.
With only 6 min gone in second half the Highlanders lead 27-6.
The Crusaders put some pressure on the Highlanders line having two tries disallowed before being awarded a penalty try from a scrum under the stick
This took the score to 27-13 for Highlanders after 54 min.
Both teams again started throwing the ball around making it a breathless encounter going from end to end.
The one thing that did work perfectly for the Saders had been their scrums and drives s they employed it much more in that second half.
The Crusaders used two scrums to Havili over in the corner and bringing them back in the game.
The Crusaders however kept struggling with the Highlanders kicking game which put them under allot of pressure throughout the game.
Yellow card for the Highlanders turned the game on it’s head with 10 min to go.
It gave the Crusaders just the gap they needed as they pulled back one of the great comebacks and scored two tries in that last ten minutes to take the game 30-27.
A classic game of Rugga’s which had anyonethat watch on the edge of their seat.
Tries: Gareth Evans, Waisake Naholo (2)
Conversions: Lima Sopoaga (3)
Penalties: Sopoaga (2)
Tries: Penalty try, David Kaetau, Whetu Douglass, Seta Tamanivalu
Conversion: Marty McKenzie
Penalties: Mitch Hunt (2)