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Crusaders Can't Conquer Capital Hoodoo
Crusaders Can't Conquer Capital Hoodoo
(Do do that hoodoo that you do so well)
31 Mar 2001
The Hurricanes took a crucial win last night against a lacklustre Crusaders side playing at home. After a series of indifferent performances, the Hurricane backline delivered on its promise and produced five storming tries. It seemed that the Crusaders could only stand and watch. For the first quarter of the game the home team was kept in the game through a series of silly penalties and errors made on the offence. Filo TiaTia was the worst offender, beginning with a shove to the face of an opponent on the ground and ending with a yellow card in the second half. However the Crusaders began to make errors of their own, conceding the first try to the Hurricanes through a wayward pass made by Andrew Mehrtens.

Ten minutes later, Hurricane centre Paul Steinmetz surprised his opposites by displaying a masterful sidestep and cutting through several would-be tacklers, before delivering a well-timed pass to Umaga, which resulted in an easy try to Christian Cullen. Steinmetz had a great evening and it appeared that the Crusaders hadn’t done much homework on the new recruit.

To counter the threat of spontaneous and entertaining try-scoring, the Crusaders began to repeat the winning formula used the week before by the Sharks: kick the ball high deep into their ’22 and wait for the dumb-dumbs to drop it. Norm Hewitt obliged late in the second half and the try was conceded after sustained forward pressure.

But the Hurricanes’ defence and attack improved markedly in the second half, while the Crusaders appeared to need a cup of tea and a little lie down. Three unanswered tries were scored by Steinmetz, Cullen and Lomu, while Paul Tito frequently won the ball off the Crusader’s throw. Late in the second half Mehrtens finally scored for the home team. However this was the only try conceded by what was a remarkably solid and committed Hurricanes defence.

The Wellington hoodoo continues for the Crusaders and the Hurricanes have thrown themselves a lifeline for the Super 12. Special thanks to Murray Mexted and ‘sideline sam’ Stu Wilson for providing such an objective and in-depth analysis of the game on Sky Sport. Those who accuse you of parochialism are only jealous because Wellington is the centre of the universe and its football team are so bloody fantastic.

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Bah! I knew this would happen, Cully, Tana and Jonah just had to pick this game to come right didn't they! From an All Black point of view it was great to see these three, along with Merhts' back in form, but since the Hurricanes are still not going to make the top 4 they could have been more polite and let us win...
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