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Crusaders vs Reds: Match Report
Crusaders vs Reds: Match Report
(Crusaders subdue the Reds in the wet and wind)
01 Mar 2003

Fulltime:  Crusaders 34 - 6  Reds

Halftime:  Crusaders 18 - 3 Reds

Referee: Some Officious Japie

 

It’s a coolish night in Christchurch, the wind is blowing pretty damn hard and steady from the North East bringing with it some light drizzle, which could make the ball just a fraction slippery.  Anyone sitting in the DB Draught stand will have to staple their hats on and sit on their hands.

 

The Reds charge onto Jade Stadium to a welcome roar something akin to a small dog farting.  Mehrts sporting his splendid new lambchop sideys trots out minutes later along with the rest of the Mighty Red and Blacks.

 

Just a couple of minutes into the game following an optimistic attack from the reds, Marshall has hoofed the ball down the park, and in a 70 yard sprint Vunibaka easily drags off Ben Needs-a-Tune-up to the ball, then in somewhat predictable fashion cocks-up the final gather and dive for the line after toeing it forward.  He has also managed to bugger his arm in the process.

 

Minutes later we are trying to decide if Dan Carter grounded the ball over the try line or his chin on the touchline first.  I can almost hear the coin being tossed upstairs as the third ref starts crying.  But in the end a fair decision.  No Try.

 

Brad Thorn smashes through what is supposed to be a Reds defensive line following a set piece off the back of the scrum… this just a minute or so after Carter’s try was disallowed.  Pretty easy really when you’re built like a Mack truck and can run just as fast.

 

Lambchop Mehrts converts successfully.  Crusaders lead 7 - 0

 

Flatley after having his previous penalty attempt blown wide aims a further 6 metres to the right and brings a smile to Geeves’ face.

Crusaders 7 – 3 Reds

 

From the kickoff the Reds all appear to have all turned their brains off and allow a big chip kick from Ralph to bounce…  The Adidas lemon bounces fast towards their try line and the great white hope Valentine is monstered when he finally gathers the ball running back towards his try line.  The ball squirts out of the maul like a cake of soap and McCaw can’t believe his luck when he grabs it and has an open try line before him!

 

Crusaders 12 – 3 Reds

 

Poor old Windhole Sailor is rather harshly penalised for obstruction/shouldering MacDonald.  Dodgy decision against the Reds and Mehrts sportingly kicks three points to rub their faces in it.

 

Crusaders 15 – 3 Reds

 

The Reds take advantage of some Crusaders musical chairs as Mehrts leaves the field with a sore leg and Maddock comes on and mount a series of attacks on the line.  Ben Tune crashes into the corner but somehow Maddock managed to get under the ball and this time the coin toss upstairs went the Crusaders way.

 

It’s noticeable just how much the Reds rely on the Sherman Tank Kefu in their back line.  He is more often than not the go-to man to generate go-forward.  Go figure.

 

Right on the half time toot Dan Carter slots a fairly difficult penalty into the wind and now quite thick drizzle.

 

Crusaders 18 – 3 Reds  - interesting given the Red and Blacks have had only 31% possession!

 

HALF TIME

 

While I’m thinking of it…  Marshall is having another great game.  His running round the rucks is definitely causing a lot of uncertainty in the Reds camp.  They aren’t sure whether he will pass and who the runners will be.  Definitely back to his best!

 

Seven or eight minutes into the half Carter lands an even better penalty from wider with still thicker drizzle.  In fact, you could even call it rain at a push now.

 

Crusaders 21 – 3 Reds

 

This three pointer came after the Crusaders immediately sent the Reds into their own half following kickoff and told them not to leave it until they could play better.

 

Now could be an interesting change in the game…  Huxley has been subbed for being useless, having only done two things all game.  Kick aimlessly left, or kick aimlessly right.

 

Flatley kicks three points after Reuben Thorne is harshly penalised following a vicious attack by a Reds players' neck on his arm.

 

Crusaders 21 – 6 Reds

 

A succession of off-side rulings against the cheating Reds sees Carter slot another penalty goal.

 

Crusaders 24 – 6 Reds

 

Try Crusaders!  A lovely back line move sees MacDonald score in the corner starting from a lineout piece moments earlier.  For me the try was notable for Brad Thorn steaming along in the back line looking for all the world like a back, easily matching Mauger, Ralph and MacDonald for pace on each side of him and drawing the last defender leaving a free run for MacDonald.

 

Crusaders 29 – 6 Reds

 

A brilliant counter attack leads to a try for Ralph!  The Reds were caught napping as the Crusaders haven’t run the ball from their own half for quite some time, preferring to play for territory with the boot.  But this time Maddock and Hamilton scythed through the wet paper bag defence of the Reds for a super try set up by a deep Flatley kick.  Thanks Elton.

 

Crusaders 34 – 6 Reds

 

FULL TIME

 

A great win for the Crusaders.  All control, nothing too flashy and the usual formidable offensive defence. 

 

And what a game it sets up next week!  The Blues at Albany.  Bring a spare set of fingernails for that one.  It also begs the big question...  Will DH watch it live, or wimp out and listen to the score before deciding whether to tune in???

 


by Wobbly

Let us know what you think!

With players like Windhole Sailor and Elton Flatus you'd have thought the Reds could blow past any team. This win just shows how truly mighty my Crusaders are!

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(Although it could have just been Wobbly on the Reload button doing some serious ego padding!)