Half Time: 6-3
Ful Time: 23-51
Interesting game to watch, although I absolutely knew the score - so that's how it feels DH :-)
Was a rugged 1st half, more than it needed to be as lots of mistakes. In amongst all the droppsies the Crusaders did seem to make more of it, but due to a missed penalty were behind at half time.
But really 6-3 at half time was nothing - Ok if I hadn't known the full time score I might have felt a little uneasy, but more about whether the 2nd half would be better quality rugby.
But it seemed that the Stormers only really had 40 minutes in them, and although Joubert's superbly anticipated intercept try kept them there-abouts for another 15 minutes - the following onslaught left them a very sorry lot indeed.
Comments - This was Captain De Wet Barry's 50th match, and he apparently ended up being booed by the 44 thousand (well maybe 40 thousand by that stage - people started leaving about the 65 minute mark) during his postmatch TV interview. Not one to remember.
The other South African's of note were the commentators - very fair I thought, although there was one guy who refused to either say the correct Crusaders name or correct himself. Hope that the stats people weren't following his commentary too closely.
Marshall's 99th game, and he was named MOTM by the SA commentators - he played very well especially in the first half, when he needed to. Sure some of his runs didn't work out, but he was doing his bit to grab the go forward.
Carter brought up his 100th point for the season and his 400th S12 point - you know I think that boy could make an excellent All Black :-) Remember you heard it here... last!
Merhts subbed for Carter for the last 13 minutes and managed 2 conversions to equal Matt Burke's S12 point scoring record - if he starts against the Cats which local media are already suggesting may be the only way to ensure a good crowd (since the Cats have definitely lost their PJs) he will carve out a new total - for Carter to chase over the next couple of years.
Worth more than the 4 points however was the quick pass that Merhts managed, to put Ralph away for his second try. It was so fast that I was amazed to see on the reply that he actually held it in two hands - I thought it must have been a slap pass!
Nathan Mauger almost had a quiet game by his standards this season, but still managed a try and many good field kicks.
Rangi MacDonald was fabulous - Casey a worry in the first half, and composed in the 2nd - Gear did fantastically with only the loopy intercepted pass to blacken his record.
Mose Tuiali'i has this new Jerry Collins haircut - with the exception that it looks good on him. He is sporting a mo (I think growing facial hair is a Crusaders away tour "thing") that makes him look more Japanese than Polynesian. He was certainly running the ball up like a Polynesian though!!! And he was still doing it right to the end.
The team try that the Stormers managed was a beauty - but more amazing were the three tries denied by great last-ditch in-goal cover defence.
George (George... who the f**k is George) Ayuob did an alright job as ref - especially as Kopilani was calling the scrums (very strange, but effective).
All and all a highly enjoyable game to watch, even if it was a video recording of the replay...