Super Rugby Quarter Finals: Another clinical performance by the Crusaders sees them go past Highlanders
This New Zealand derby never disappoints the viewer, as it was another cracking game from both teams.
The Crusaders have had the upper hand over the Highlanders in the last 10 matchups, winning six of the clashes and the Highlanders winning just three. One game earlier this year was called off, because of the terror attack in Christchurch.
Final Score: Crusaders 38 - Highlanders 14
15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Whetu Douglas, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Braydon Ennor
15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tei Walden, 11 Sio Tomkinson, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock (co-captain), 7 James Lentjes, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 1 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Ayden Johnstone, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Elliot Dixon
The Crusaders were exceptional from the first minute of the game with strong ball carries and unmatched set plays.
The All Black presence in the Crusaders' set up had a massive influence on the game. The Crusaders scrum were dominant throughout the game and one could argue that they won the game upfront.
The All Black front row were to much to handle for the men from Dunedin throughout the 80 minutes. The Highlanders matched the Crusaders in the first 40 minutes with their attacking ability in the backline.
The Highlanders outside centre, Rob Thompson, was the standout player for the Men In Blue. He dominated his All Black opponent, Jack Goodhue.
The turning point of the clash came in the 46th minute when Liam Squire (The Highlanders Loose Forward) did not use his arms in a tackle and was given a yellow card.
The Crusaders scored twice while Squire was in the Sin Bin and that gave them the momentum they needed to get over the line.