Crusaders upset Stormers in Cape Town

12:58, Mar 31 2013
Dan Carter
Dan Carter flings it wide.
Crusaders
Crusaders win the lineout against the Blues at Eden Park.
Crusaders
The Crusaders gather behind their goal-line after conceding a try to the Blues.
Robbie Fruean
Robbie Fruean on the charge for the Crusaders against the Blues.
Kieran Read
Kieran Read looks on disconsolately after the Crusaders one-point loss to the Hurricanes.
Ryan Crotty
Ryan Crotty makes a break for the Crusaders.
Israel Dagg
Israel Dagg (centre) celebrates with team-mates after scoring against the Hurricanes.
Dan Carter
Dan Carter chases down the loose ball.
Crusaders v Bulls
Robbie Fruean celebrates his try as the Crusaders finally get a win this season over the Bulls.
Crusaders v Bulls
Ryan Crotty makes a break during the Crusaders win over the Bulls.
Crusaders v Bulls
Tom Marshall fends off a Bulls tackle.
Crusaders v Bulls
Zac Guildford watches from the stands as the Crusaders beat the Bulls.
Crusaders v Bulls
Captain Kieran Read was a standout in the Crusaders win over the Bulls in Christchurch.
Zac Guildford runs the ball against the Kings.
Zac Guildford runs the ball against the Kings.
Crusaders vs Kings
Dan Carter is a tackled by a Kings player.
Crusaders vs Kings
The Crusaders score a try against the Kings.
The Crusaders score a try against the Kings
The Crusaders score a try against the Kings
Crusaders 2013 Season
The Crusaders celebrate the win during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Crusaders in Cape Town.
Crusaders 2013 Season
Crusaders celebrate the try of Matt Todd during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Crusaders in Cape Town.
Crusaders 2013 Season
Tom Marshall of the Crusaders during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Crusaders in Cape Town.
Crusaders 2013 Season
Matt Todd of the Crusaders scores a try during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Crusaders in Cape Town.
Crusaders v Sharks
Owen Franks is tackled during the Crusaders 21-17 loss to the Sharks in Durban.
Crusaders v Sharks
Andy Ellis scores a try during the Crusaders' loss to the Sharks.
Crusaders v Sharks
Franco van der Merwe of the Sharks out-jumps Sam Whitelock.
Crusaders v Sharks
The Sharks celebrate their win over the Crusaders in Durban.
Crusaders v Force
Israel Dagg is tackled by the Force's Junior Raolea.
Crusaders v Force
Sam Whitelock breaks a line during the Crusaders' loss to the Force.
Crusaders v Force
Luke Romano dives over for a try which would later be disallowed.
Crusaders v Force
Robbie Fruean fends off Kyle Godwin as the Crusaders went down to the Force in Perth.
Crusaders gallery
The Crusaders celebrate after scoring a try against the Highlanders.
Crusaders gallery
Luke Whitelock charges into the Highlanders defence.
Crusaders gallery
Israel Dagg tries to evade the tackle.
Crusaders gallery
Zac Guildford chases after the loose ball.
Crusaders gallery
Owen Franks of the Crusaders charges into Nic Stirzaker of the Rebels.
Crusaders gallery
Ben Funnell is taken in the tackle by the Rebels.
Crusaders gallery
Dan Carter made his return to action for the Crusaders against the Rebels.
Crusaders gallery
George Whitelock leads the Crusaders on to AMI Stadium for the game against the Rebels.
Crusaders gallery
Dan Carter is taken in the tackle.
Crusaders gallery
Ryan Crotty on the charge against the Brumbies.
Crusaders gallery
Sam Whitelock gets a pass away in the tackle.
Crusaders gallery
Robbie Fruean (left) and Joe Moody celebrate after the Crusaders win over the Brumbies in Canberra.
Crusaders 2013 gallery
Andy Ellis talks to the crowd after being presented with a mere in recognition of playing 100 games for the Crusaders.
Crusaders 2013 gallery
Dan Carter unleashes a kick for the Crusaders against the Blues.
Crusaders 2013 gallery
Sam Whitelock takes breather during the clash against the Blues.
Crusaders 2013 gallery
Crusaders fans show their support for the team in the clash against the Blues.
Crusaders 2013
Ben Funnell spins the ball wide against the Chiefs.
Crusaders 2013
Zac Guildford (centre) and the Crusaders lament their loss to the Chiefs.
Crusaders 2013
Andy Ellis surveys his options from the base of the scrum against the Crusaders.
Crusaders 2013
Tom Taylor attempts a shot at goal against the Chiefs.
Crusaders season 2013
Dominic Bird of the Crusaders attended to by the team doctor during his side's Round 16 clash with the Waratahs in Christchurch.
Crusaders season 2013
Zac Guildford of the Crusaders passes the ball back to Kieran Read under pressure from Waratah Kane Douglas.
Crusaders season 2013
Luke Romano wins a lineout for the Crusaders against the Waratahs.
Crusaders season 2013
Michael Hopper of the Waratahs makes a charge against the Crusaders at AMI Stadium.
Super Rugby Gallery
Willi Heinz of the Crusaders is tackled by Ben Smith of the Highlanders during the round 18 Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Crusaders.
Super Rugby Gallery
Tom Marshall of the Crusaders is dumped by Ma'a Nonu of the Highlanders during the round 18 Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Crusaders.
Super Rugby Gallery
Highlanders player Ben Smith jumping in the air for the ball with Crusaders Matt Todd & Dan Carter.
Super Rugby Gallery
Highlanders player Hosea Gear being tackled by Crusaders players Dan Carter (left) & George Whitelock.
Super Rugby Gallery
Sam Whitelock of the Crusaders is tackled by Kade Poki of the Highlanders during the round 18 Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Crusaders.
Crusaders vs Chiefs
Crusaders fullback Israel Dagg celebrates.
Crusaders vs Chiefs
Crusaders first five-eighth Dan Carter.
Crusaders vs Chiefs
Crusaders Kieran Read on his way to the try-line.
Crusaders vs Chiefs
Kieran Read runs out at AMI stadium.
Crusaders vs Chiefs
Crusaders fullback Israel Dagg takes off.
Crusaders vs Chiefs
Crusaders centre Ryan Crotty tries to escape Chiefs flanker Sam Cane.
Crusaders gallery 2013
Kieran Read leads the Crusaders on to AMI Stadium for their final regular season game against the Hurricanes.
Crusaders gallery 2013
Halfback Willi Heinz gets a kick away against the Hurricanes.
Crusaders gallery 2013
Brothers Ben (left) and Owen Franks catch up after going head to head for the Hurricanes and Crusaders.
Crusaders gallery 2013
Dan Carter gestures to an assistant referee during the game against the Hurricanes.
Crusaders vs Reds
Ryan Crotty dives over to score for the Crusaders.
Crusaders vs Reds
Dan Carter strolls over the line to score a try.
Crusaders vs Reds
Richie McCaw looks on from the Crusaders bench during his side's Super Rugby qualifier with the Reds.
Crusaders vs Reds
Sam Whitelock takes on the Reds defence.
Chiefs vs Crusaders
Liam Messam takes on the Crusaders defence.
Chiefs vs Crusaders
Lelia Masaga has a cut at the Crusaders defence.
Chiefs vs Crusaders
Asaeli Tikoirotuma is downed by Owen Franks.

A remarkable defensive effort ensured the Crusaders upset the Stormers 19-14 in Cape Town this morning.

The Crusaders had to fight back from being 11-0 down mid-way through the first half and overcome injuries to tighthead prop Owen Franks and right wing Johnny McNicholl.

Franks succumbed to a painful rib injury in the 11th minute and was replaced by Joe Moody. McNicholl joined Franks in the infirmary when he wrenched his knee in a ruck and had to be stretchered off the ground before Adam Whitelock was called upon.

Crusaders
STUNNING CRUSADERS: A remarkable defensive effort ensured the Crusaders upset the Stormers 19-14 in Cape Town this morning.

Despite their recent winning record in Cape Town – they won both matches there in 2011 – the Crusaders ranked pre-match underdogs.

Being without Dan Carter (who became a father for the first time yesterday) and Kieran Read (toe injury) ensured the bookies preferred to back the home side and they will have felt vindicated by offering such odds when the tourists announced All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg has been scratched because of a hamstring problem.

A pulsating final five minutes, in which the Stormers repeatedly attacked their opponets’ line after being awarded a string of penalties and spurning shots at goal, involved the Crusaders attacking anything in a blue jersey and ended with the rare sight of head coach Todd Blackadder throwing his arms in the air as he celebrated the win in the coach’s box.

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Led by new skipper George Whitelock the Crusaders commitment at the breakdown and in defence had multiple benefits;  they frustrated the Stormers into infringing around the rucks and coughing up ball at crucial times.

Before the match the Crusaders promised to pressure Stormers lineout ace Andries Bekker and they kept their word.

Through locks Sam Whitelock and Luke Romano they harried the South Africans into losing six of their own lineout throws by daring to compete in defensive positions, create vital turnovers and ease the tension.

A more conservative game-plan, which involved first five-eighth Tyler Bleyendaal clearing the ball from inside his half, ramped-up more pressure on their defence and their opponents succumbed with a string of handling errors and also missed vital tackles.

George Whitelock was inspirational and the performance of youngest brother Luke at No 8 ensures Blackadder will have no hesitation in selecting him again for the next match against the Sharks in Durban.

This was undoubtedly Bleyendaal’s best performance for the Crusaders as he ensured his side stuck to their game plan and proved a defensive rock.

Although the Crusaders were determined to not give away needless penalties they immediately embarked on a senseless mission of testing referee Craig Joubert’s patience.

Franks coughed-up a penalty for holding back a player on the ruck fringes, Tom Marshall spilled a ball in the tackle that was picked-up by a team-mate in an offside position and Wyatt Crockett went digging for ruck ball while off his feet.

Crockett’s infringement proved most costly; the Stormers kicked for touch and the subsequent lineout drive resulted in No 6 Siya Kolisi plunging over for a try.

Joe Pietersen’s two penalties advanced the Stormers lead to 11-0 but that lead was slowly reeled in as the Crusaders remained their composure.

Fullback Marshall was responsible for chewing-up the early metres before Matt Todd scored the Crusaders’ opening try that allowed them to start clawing back the 11-0 deficit.

Marshall weaved his way through the defence and when unable to link with his support just short of the line he set-up a ruck. The subsequent attacking movements eventually led to Todd racing on to a cracking short-ball from lock Sam Whitelock. Bleyendaal kicked the simple conversion.

Two more penalties by Bleyendaal ensured the Crusaders went into the halftime break ahead 13-11.

Wing Zac Guildford’s second start since returning from his self-imposed ban was unremarkable until he was involved in an incident that resulted in the Stormers reduced to 14 men in the third quarter.

Duane Vermeulen flipped Guildford on to his back and re-plays instigated by the television match official confirmed the Stormers No 8 was going to cop a yellow card.

It was a call that was technically correct but drew little favour from the crowd; there appeared to be no malicious intent on Vermeulen’s behalf and Guildford was not hurt.

Despite the reduction in numbers the Stormers thrived in the loose forward’s absence; their magnificent defence ensured the visitors were kept scoreless while Pietersen slotted three points when Sam Whitelock was pinged at a ruck.

But it was in the final minutes that the Crusaders showed they are still title contenders.

They defended stoutly and although Joubert would have been justified in awarding a yellow card any number of forwards in the final minutes they retained composed to record a memorable win.

Crusaders 19 (Matt Todd try; Tyler Bleyendaal con, 4 pens) Stormers 14 (Siya Kolisi try; Joe Pietersen 4 pens).

HT: 13-11.

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