It was an unpleasant return to Christchurch for Daryl Gibson after the Waratahs were defeated 29-10 by a strong Crusaders team.
The Crusaders started the match impressively with tries to Johnny Mcnicholl and Israel Dagg in the opening 10 minutes, albeit the Waratahs defence was particularly poor.
The Waratahs were lucky not to be 17 points down after Mcnicholl thought he had his second try but it was brought back after Matt Todd was caught not retiring from Israel Dagg’s kick. It wasn’t long before the Crusaders added points again after Richie Mo’unga slotted a penalty from in front the extend the Crusaders lead to 15-0.
The Waratahs finally had something to cheer about in the 25th minute when Israel Folau made a break and got the ball to Rob Horne who finished nicely in the corner. Foley was unable to convert from out wide as the score remained 15-5.
The Waratahs looked to score again after Bernard Foley made a break and handed it off to Phipps but he was hammered in a cover tackle from Kieran Read.
A great set piece try from the Crusaders gave Richie Mo’unga another 5 points to his tally. He then went for the quick conversion to prevent the referee from checking the try with the television match official but the try was awarded and Mo’unga was allowed to take the conversion again to bring the score to 22-5 at halftime.
The Waratahs began the second half much stronger than the first with an early break from Israel Folau, however, they were unable to capitalise and the Crusaders turned the ball over and almost scored at the other end.
The Waratahs again attacked the Crusaders line but were once again were unable to come away with points after the ball was turned over by a crunching tackle on Israel Folau. The Crusaders countered and almost went the length of the field but the ball was brought back by Reece Robinson.
The Crusaders then had a few dabs at the line before Jordan Taufua crashed over under the posts. Mo’unga then added the conversion to give the Crusaders a bonus point lead at 29-5.
Directly afterwards, the Waratahs made five changes in an attempt to salvage the game. The move payed off immediately with Zac Guildford bursting through the line to score. Foley was unable to add the extras to leave the score at 29-10.
The Waratahs were almost in again with a break from Michael Hooper who was pulled up just short. Once again, the Crusaders were able to survive the sustained pressure and cleared their line after Angus Ta’avao knocked the ball on.
The Waratahs continued attacking right to the end but couldn’t break through the Crusaders wall. Final score: 29-10.
The Game Changer
Two tries from the Crusaders within the first ten minutes put the match out of reach for the Waratahs who never really looked like overcoming the deficit. [/one_third] [one_third last=”no”]
The G&GR MOTM
Despite an average start, Bernard Foley was one of the only Waratahs backline players to be threatening in attack and took on the line on a number of occasions. Zac Guildford was also impressive coming in off the bench making a couple of line breaks and scoring a try. [/one_third] [one_third last=”yes”]
Matt Lucas had some good moments when coming on off the bench as well as replacement hooker Hugh Roach. [/one_third]
Score & Scorers
[one_half last=”no”] Crusaders: 29 Tries: Mcnicholl, Dagg, Mo’unga, Taufua Conversions: Mo’unga 3 Penalty: Mo’unga [/one_half] [one_half last=”yes”] Waratahs: 10 Try: Horne, Guildford [/one_half]