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Super 12 Final, 2004 - Brumbies vs Crusaders
Super 12 Final, 2004 - Brumbies vs Crusaders
(The view from Cone Stadium)
23 May 2004

Super 12 2004 Final
Brumbies vs Crusaders
Bruce Stadium, Canberra
7:35pm (EST) - 22nd May, 2004
Referee: Andre Watson
Half-time: BRU 33 - CRU 14
Full-time: BRU 47 - CRU 38

Cone Stadium (CS) :
9:35pm, Christchurch, NZ. It was a cold, wet night and a good crowd was gathered at Cone Stadium, prepared for the big game. Everyone was in good spirits, thanks largely to the delicious pot-luck feast they had all just devoured and a healthy dose of various bubbly liquids (not including the sponsors product I must admit, sorry DB but your beer sucks).

Bruce Stadium (BS):
Meanwhile across the ditch it was 7:35pm in Canberra, Australia. It was a similarly cold night (single digits, with a threat of frost) but no obvious rain and the stadium they imaginatively call Bruce was humming, with a great crowd in backing the home town Brumbies.

The teams run out onto the field.

CS:
Jules - "I bet they actually start Merhts at No. 10"

BS:
The lineups are announced and Cameron Mcintyre is starting at 10 as expected.

CS:
Jules - "ah useless Sky TV, they've spelt Mehrtens wrong!"

BS:
0 min: Dan Carter kicks off for the Crusaders and the game is under way.

1 mins: Crusaders regain possession but as he did numerous times against the Stormers last week Mcintyre loses the ball in the tackle and Bernie Larkham kicked it deep into the corner and started the "nightmare on Blair Street", as last line of defence fullback Ben Blair totally missed timed a hack kick when trying to clear the ball into touch about 5m out from the Crusaders try line and Joe Roff capitalised and scored in the corner. (BRU 7-0)

CS:
everybody - "oh crap, Blair you moron, why didn't you dive on the ball!"
Greg - "We're doomed!!!" (DH wasn't here, so someone had to say it...)

BS:
5 mins: Restart to the Crusaders and a game of forceback ends with a Brumbies lineout just outside the Crusaders 22. Crusaders win it, but turn it over in midfield thanks to a crazy hospital pass from Blair which results in a turnover and Gerrard scoring his first (BRU 12-0)

CS:
everyone - "OH CRAP!!! Someone slap Ben Blair, he's obviously freaking out!"
Greg - "We're doomed!!!" (DH still wasn't here...)

BS:
10 mins: Brumbies are penalised just inside their half. Carter steps up to take a shot at goal.

CS:
Wobbly - "he'll kick this no worries, he's a bloody legend. 12-3 isn't that far behind."

BS:
Carter's kick misses, has the distance but not the angle.

CS:
everyone - "bugger..."
Wobbly - "umm, ahh, anyone want a beer?"

BS:
11mins: From the restart Samo hammers Mccaw and the Brumbies force a turnover and George Smith feeds in to Gerrard who combines with Gregan to put Jeremy Paul in at the corner and take the Brumbies out to a very very good lead (BRU 19-0)

CS:
everyone - "you have got to be ****ing kidding!?!"
Greg - "We're doomed!!!" (stilll no sign of DH...)
Tony Johnson (sky commentator) - "well at least the Brumbies have scored all these points early, it gives the Crusaders lots of time to catch up"
everyone - "WTF!?!?"

BS:
15 mins: Crusaders manage to hold onto the ball for a few minutes, but eventually turn it over again, leading to Samo doing a Magic Johnson impersonation, waving the ball around in one giant hand while running down the field looking for option, he finds plenty and Gerrard scores his second (BRU 24-0)

CS:
everyone - "NOOOOOO!"
Greg - "We're doomed!!!" (no DH, lucky for him...)
Gary - "So Jules, you got any good games on tape?"
Jules - "I've got that Waratahs vs Crusaders game somewhere..."
Shaun - "The way this one is going no one is going to ever remember that game after this one, it's going to be 130-0 at this rate!!"

BS:
16 mins: Without time to breathe, the Brumbies secured the pill from the kick off and Larkham rips through a huge gap in the Crusaders defence and links up with Matt Giteau who scores under the posts for the 5th try of the night (BRU 33-0)
Shots of Mehrts stretching on the side-line are shown.

CS:
a variety of angry mutterings and crying, and Jules scrambling about looking for the Waratahs tape...
Greg - "We're doomed!!!"
SG - "Shut up with that Greg, it's annoying enough when DH says it!!"
Grant - "It looks like Mehrts is warming up..."
Kerrin - "Either that or he's trying to pull a hamstring on the sideline so he can avoid getting subbed on!"

BS:
20-25mins: Crusaders manage to hold onto the ball for a period and actually force a couple of kickable penalties, but since they are 33-0 down there is no point in kicking them, instead they opt for lineouts.

CS:
Wobbly & Pete - "take the shot at goal, avoid the down-trou!"

BS:
25 mins: A huge call by Robbie Deans, McIntyre goes off and is replaced by Merhtens.

CS:
Cheryl - "Mehrts doesn't look to happy to be coming on."
Jules - "Not surprisingly, he sits on the bench the whole season and then when they get in a massive hole they turn to him to get them out, talk about a hospital pass!"
Greg - "Yep, it's hard to tell who looks the most disgruntled, McIntyre for having to come off or Mehrts for having to come on!"

BS:
26 mins: The Crusaders fling everything at the Brumbies, and are getting some good go forward. Advantage to the Crusaders again for off side play by the Brumbies. No advantage there and another penalty.
27 mins: Owen Finnegan is down injured. Carter kicks for the line. Crusaders line out on the 5 metre line. Crusaders lose the throw and Gregan kicks away. McCaw makes good ground and the Crusaders are 5 metres away again from the line. A bit of a scuffle breaks out.
28 mins: Scrum on the try line to the Crusaders and push the visitors back. Advantage again to the Crusaders and Andre Watson getting a little edgy.

CS:
Wobbly - "Ah that's more like it, at least our boys are fired up now! If you can't beat them on the scoreboard then just beat them!"
everyone looks nervously at Wobbly, but no one disagrees...
Gary - "Mehrts has looked pretty good don't you think?"
Jules - "Yep he certainly brings something of an X factor to the Crusaders play, or should that be ex factor?"

BS:
29 mins: Another lineout on the same position. The Crusaders push over the line and the try is awarded to Ritchie McCaw. Carter gets the conversion (BRU 33-7).

CS:
everyone - "woo hoo!! That's more like it, only 5 more of those and we are in the lead!"
Wobbly does his celebratory dance (which looks a bit like a combo of "Who's Your Daddy" and "Stir the pot of Love"...)

BS:
30 mins: From the restart, the Brumbies secure the ball and through Larkham puts the high ball up. Roff secures the ball, and the Brumbies push forward. Finnegan was over the line and lost the ball in the tackle.

CS:
Greg (in scooby doo voice) - "that's was rucky!!"

BS:
31 mins: Defensive scrum to the Crusaders. Under pressure Merhtens gets the kick away but it's not pretty. Advantage to the Brumbies and the Crusaders are penalised for infringing.

CS:
Wobbly - "damn, no doubt they'll take the shot at goal"

BS:
33 mins: The Brumbies take the lineout on the Crusaders 5 metre line but they lose possession.

CS:
Wobbly - "cocky bastards..."

BS:
The Crusaders counter and forced the Brumbies back to their 22 line for a drop out.

CS:
everyone - "yeah, that'll teach you not to take the penalties!"

BS:
36 mins: Corey Flynn goes on for Kopelani at hooker for the Crusaders. The Crusaders have some go forward and through Merhtens and McCaw get to the try line. Passing through the hands, the Crusaders give Mauger the ball and he scores in the corner. Carter converts (BRU 33-14)

CS:
everyone - "yeah baby!! only 4 more of those!!"
Wobbly does the dance...

BS:
39 mins: The Crusaders scampers down to halfway but knock it own when it was starting to look promising. Looked like a try was blown there and the siren indicating half time has gone.
40 mins: Larkham kicks the ball into touch and the first half comes to a close. A magnificant first 40 and its 33-14 to the Brumbies but the Crusaders have come back somewhat and dominated possession. 19 points in arrears, they are not out of it, but it will take a Lazarus-type comeback.

CS:
Shaun - "Well 33-14 is a damn sight better than 33-0!"
Jules - "True enough, but it's still going to be damn tough to win it from here"
Pete - "Yep, whoever scores first on the second half will probably take it I'd say."

BS:
41 mins: Larkham kicks off, Marshall regathers. Crusaders kick out of trouble and it's taken on the halfway.
42 mins: Crusaders lineout, and it's well taken by Brad Thorn. Referee Watson deemed the throw wasn't straight and it's a Brumbies scrum. The high ball is put up and Ben Blair continues his nightmare night and loses the ball. Gerrard regathers the ball and scores (BRU 40-14).

CS:
everyone - "ARRRGH!!!"
Jules - "Get Blair off now!!"
Gary - "That was Andre's fault, that lineout was fine, they should never have even had the chance to get possession!"
Greg - "We're doomed!!!" (said, just before ducking the daggers from SG...)

BS:
43 mins: Corey Flynn again loses the throw and Larkham kicks the ball into touch down by the Crusaders 22. Samo has his third steal of the night.
44 mins: Crusaders try to work it out of the 22. Merhtens kicks out of the danger zone, and Rathbone brings it back 30m without any Crusaders chasing. Larkham kicks into the 22 and Merhtens takes it back.
46 mins: Gerrard takes the ball up rather than kicking it down field but loses it in the tackle. Roff lets the ball trickle over the line right on the Brumbies line.
47 mins: The Crusaders have the advantage after the throw wasn't straight by Paul. Scrum on the Brumbies line to the Crusaders.
49 mins: Crusaders working the blindside, but blow the try and kick it into touch by the 22
50 mins: Flynn over-shoots the mark again and Giteau regathers the loose ball and thumps it 50m into Crusaders territory.
51 mins: Midfield scrum to the Brumbies and another turnover ball. They regather and the ball is heaved to Larkham who is put down. Momentum is stopped by a Crusaders infringment. Merhtens is penalised for talking and Roff steps forward to take the shot but misses.

BS:
53 mins: Blair is taken off, Casey Laulala on at Centre and Mauger drops back to full back. Thorne regathers from the restart. Merhtens kicks down field to Rathbone who counter attacks.

CS:
Cindy - "About time!"

BS:
55 mins: A brief respite from the game due to an injury to Samo but he is ok. Scrum to the Crusaders and they pass to a midfield Ralph who is caught.
56 mins: Knock on by the Brumbies. Chris King replaces Dave Hewitt and immediately goes into a scrum to the Crusaders who are right on the line. Broomhall takes it up.
57 mins: Brad Thorn goes over in the corner after the Crusaders strung together 5 phases to produce a try. Carter gets the conversion (BRU 40-21)

CS:
everyone - "Alright! Only 3 more of those and we will have the lead!"
Wobbly does the dance...

BS:
59 mins: From the kick-off, the Brumbies regathered and had a line out but Brad Thorn gets a turn over.
60 mins: Penalty against the Crusaders for coming in on the wrong side of the ruck. Roff going for the kick and misses.
61 mins: Roff kicks the ball out on the full and the Crusaders had the throw but it was not straight again. Mid-field scrum to the Brumbies.
62 mins: The one crooked throw that didn't get caught has turned the Brumbies onto attack inside the Crusaders half. Ralph gets a mark and immediately counter-attacks. Vunibaka is slammed in a tackle.
64 mins: Carter and Mauger try to get something going and spin it wide. The Crusaders are inside the Brumbies half and going forward.
65 mins: Marshall, then Merhtens go forward with the help of Jack and Laulala. Kick forward goes nowhere and the Brumbies kick themselves out of trouble to halfway.
66 mins: Broomhall and Ralph combine to take the ball forward, Another wave of Crusaders attack and they retain possession this time. The Crusaders are in their 10th phase and carry on. A 5 metre scrum is awarded to the Crusaders.

CS:
the general mood is far more positive, with all the CS punters sitting forward in their seats and looking excited rather than cowering back and cringing

BS:
69 mins: Attacking scrum and the Crusaders roll the maul forward. Chris King is over the line, but Watson was unsighted and the teams wait to see if the try was scored.

CS:
Gary - "there is no way they can give that try"
Pete - "You are right, you can't see the bloody ball at all"
SG - "Yeah, give it up, just give us the 5m scrum"

BS:
Video referee Mark Lawrence says yes in a surprising call that angers the home crowd. Carter lands the conversion(BRU 40-28)

CS:
Gary, Pete and SG - "Yeah, I knew it was a try all along!"
Wobbly does the dance...

BS:
70 mins: Quick throw by Vunibaka to McCaw. Spreading the ball wide, the Crusaders penetrate Brumbies territory again and clears the ball wide.
71 mins: Counter attack by the Brumbies and have the advantage by Watson for offside play. Joe Roff gets an inside pass and sets a new try scoring record by dotting down under the posts. He gets his own conversion (BRU 47- 28)

CS:
everyone - "bastard!! There goes the ball game..."

BS:
72 mins: The Brumbies make wholesale substitutions. It looks too much for the Crusaders to come back but they won't stop trying and bring it back through Marshall who gets bundled out over the touch by Gerrard. Marshall reacts to the slightly high tackle from Gerrard and a fight starts near the Brumbies bench. Disturbingly, Rathbone came off the bench to get involved by good referring from Watson just sees Marshall getting penalised.
73 mins: Giteau steps up to take the shot at goal which would take the score for the Brumbies to 50. The Brumbies are already starting to congratulate themselves with time to go. Giteau misses the shot and the Crusaders immediately bring it back.
74 mins: The Crusaders drive forward and the referee has the Brumbies offside. Crusaders tap and go forward.
75 mins: Casey Laulala gets a try after the Crusaders spin the ball wide and it's well deserved for a team that was so far down. This team may have lost this game but they have showed a lot of courage in battling back. Carter misses the kick (BRU 47-33).

CS:
Wobbly does the dance... , after everyone insists

BS:
77 mins: From the kickoff, the Crusaders counter and heave it wide.
78 mins: Giteau secures a turnover ball and kick it down-field. Marshall restarts quickly and the the crowd cheers as the clock is up. Referee Watson lets it go.
80 mins: The Crusaders drive forward on pure emotion and Daniel Carter gets the final points for the evening through a slick backline move that resulted in a try. It was too lilttle too late though and this was the final event of this very eventful night as he misses the kick. Referee Watson blows the final whistle and the Brumbies win a very deserved game. Final score Brumbies 47-38.

CS:
everyone - "good on ya boys, you may have lost but at least you are going down fighting!"

by

Let us know what you think!

Arggh crap, I hate those bloody Brumbies!

And where the hell was DH!?! His reverse psychology may well have swung the game for my beloved Crusaders!!

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