NSW Waratahs

Review Crusaders v Waratahs – A Game of Inches

Review Crusaders v Waratahs – A Game of Inches

Waratahs matches against the Crusaders have a history of being epic encounters and this promised to be no different. The ‘Tahs have had an exceptional second half to their season winning five on the trot before going down to a resurgent Rebels last week. The Crusaders have struggled without key players but the return of Dan Carter and Kieren Read has lifted the side. 

The Match

The Waratahs started the match at 100 miles an hour and moved the Crusaders around the park, but their defence had the Waratahs measure. The Waratahs scored from a penalty at about five minutes in and then turned a second shot down to kick for the corner at about the 18 minute mark. After bashing on the Crusaders line for 17 phases Cam Crawford bumped off two tackles to score just to the right of the posts. Brendan McKibbin converted to give the Waratahs a 10-0 lead after 23 minutes.

The second quarter seemed to play out in the same way as the first. The Waratahs moved the Crusaders around the park and forced them to make a lot of tackles. They conceded another penalty for not releasing at the 25 minute mark. At the 33 minute mark the Tahs executed a great set move off a lineout 60 metres out. They threw long to Sekope Kepu at the back who ran straight and set up a quick ruck. McKibbin went left to Foley who threw an in ball to Michael Hooper running a great line. He ran the Tahs into the 22 before passing to Peter Betham who bumps off two Crusaders players to score in the left corner.

Corey Flynn was the next to score after the Crusaders finally have some ball in the Waratahs 22. The Crusaders bashed away at the Tahs defence for 22 phases before Dan Carter took a quick tap from a Waratahs offside and Flynn barged over almost straight away. Carter added the conversion to an earlier penalty to narrow the half time gap to 10-15.

Three minutes after half time the Crusaders tried to move the ball quickly from a turnover only to have Dave Dennis intercept a pass 50 metres out. He made it to the 22 before drawing two players and putting Foley away to score. Foley converted to drag the score out to 10-22. The Waratahs took off McKibbin and Horne amd replaced them with Lucas and Barnes. The Crusaders lost Read to injury and replaced Willi Hienz with Andy Ellis. The changes seemed to change the momentum of the game and the Crusaders started to get some traction.

The Crusaders started the final quarter of the match on the attack. The won a penalty and kicked for the corner. Another Penalty another kick to the corner. From the lineout they set up a maul and the backs joined in to nearly run it over the line! Carter converts. Soon after Lucas conceded a penalty for obstruction. Carter kicked that too. Another penalty! This one was 48 metres out for offside. Carter scraped it over the bar by inches and suddenly the Crusaders were in front with six minutes to play.

With four and a half minutes to go the Crusaders knocked on 27 metres out and five metres in from touch and the game descended into farce. What followed were seven scrum resets and four minutes before a penalty was awarded. The fourth scrum could have been a penalty to the Waratahs for Crusaders tighthead prop Nepo Laulala collapsing. The fifth was a penalty to the Crusaders for Waratahs tighthead Paddy Ryan popping up. Referee Glen Jackson finally awarded a penalty to the Tahs with 30 seconds left on the clock. Berrick Barnes lined up the shot only to miss to the right of the posts.

The Crusaders won the match 23-22

The Game Changer

The replacement of McKibbin and Horne and the Injury to Dave Dennis seemed to stop the Waratahs in their tracks.


It hurts to say it but Dave Dennis had an exceptional game. But I think Dan Carter pipped him. He is my Man of the Match

Wallaby watch

Brendan McKibbin, Bernard Foley, Rob Horne, Adam Ashley Cooper and Benn Robinson all stood out tonight. And of course Dave Dennis showed he can play number eight with aplomb.

The Details


Score & Scorers

Crusaders: 23
Tries: Corey Flynn, Matt Todd
Conversions: Dan Carter 2
Penalties: Dan Carter 3

Waratahs: 22
Tries: Cam Crawford, Peter Betham, Bernard Foley
Conversions: Brendan McKibbin 2
Penalties: Brendan McKibbin 1

Cards & citings


NSW Waratahs

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to http://www.onesully.com.au

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