Slade seals one-point victory for Crusaders

18:37, Apr 19 2014
Richie McCaw
The expression of Richie McCaw's face says it all after the Crusaders missed seven penalties in an 18-10 loss to the Chiefs.
Israel Dagg
Crusaders fullback Israel Dagg runs at Liam Messam during the season opener.
Nafi Tuitavake
Crusaders wing Nafi Tuitavake runs away from Chiefs lock Brodie Retallick.
Crusaders fans
Almost 17,000 Crusaders fans packed into Christchurch Stadium for the season opener.
Tim Perry
Crusaders prop Tim Perry is taken down by Charlie Faumuina.
Richie McCaw
Richie McCaw eyes up a tackle on George Moala before leaving the field injured.
Colin Slade
Colin Slade celebrates his first half try against the Blues.
Colin Slade and Reynold Lee-Lo
Crusaders Colin Slade (right) and Reynold Lee-Lo fail to secure the ball under pressure from George Moala.
Crusaders 2014 season
Stormers captain Jean de Villiers and the Crusaders' Kieran Read await a referee's decision during their clash in Christchurch.
Crusaders 2014 season
Johnny McNicholl of the Crusaders celebrates the final whistle following his side's comeback win over the Stormers.
Crusaders 2014 season
The Crusaders cheerleaders get the crowd going before kick-off against the Stormers.
Crusaders 2014 season
Sam Whitelock reaches highest to claim lineout ball for the Crusaders against the Chiefs.
Kieran Read
Captain Kieran Read chats to his forward pack during a break against the Rebels.
Israel Dagg
Israel Dagg attempts to get himself out of the grasp of a Melbourne Rebel.
Israel Dagg
Israel Dagg unleashes a punt downfield.
Colin Slade
Crusaders first-five Colin Slade fires a pass to his outside backs.
Ben Funnell
Crusaders Kieran Read (left) and Nafi Tuitavake rush to congratulate hooker Ben Funnell after scoring.
2014 Crusaders season
Wyatt Crockett of the Crusaders tries to offload under pressure from Jeremy Thrush of the Hurricanes.
2014 Crusaders season
Ryan Crotty makes a break for the Crusaders against the Hurricanes in Christchurch.
2014 Crusaders season
The Crusaders players look dejected after losing to the Hurricanes at the death.
2014 Crusaders season
Nemani Nadolo makes a charge down the wing for the Crusaders against the Hurricanes.
2014 Crusaders season
The Crusaders' Kieron Fonotia and Owen Franks get to grips with Schalk van der Merwe of the Lions.
2014 Crusaders season
Nepo Laulala of Crusaders tackling Faf de Klerk of Lions during the teams' clash at Ellis Park.
Crusaders 2014 season
George Whitelock and Matt Todd of Crusaders smash Lions No 8 Warren Whitley.
Crusaders
Crusaders lock Sam Whitelock takes a charge at the Lions defence.
Crusaders 2014 season
Crusaders No 10 Colin Slade goes on a run against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Crusaders 2014 season
Crusaders halfback Willi Heinz floats a pass out in his teams clash with the Cheetahs.
Crusaders 2014 season
Crusaders captain Kieran Read breaks away from the back of a maul against the Cheetahs.
Crusaders 2014 season
Ryan Crotty swats the Cheetahs defence out of his way in Bloemfontein.
Crusaders 2014 season
Quade Cooper of the Reds is tackled by Wyatt Crockett of the Crusaders.
Crusaders 2014 season
Richie McCaw of the Crusaders takes the lineout during the round 13 Super Rugby match between the Reds and the Crusaders.
Crusaders 2014 season
Luke Whitelock of the Crusaders breaks away from the defence to score a try during the round 13 Super Rugby match between the Reds and the Crusaders.
Crusaders 2014 season
Johnny McNicholl of the Crusaders celebrates with team mate Israel Dagg after scoring a try during the round 13 Super Rugby match between the Reds and the Crusaders.
Crusaders 2014 season
Johnny McNicholl of the Crusaders scores a try during the round 13 Super Rugby match between the Reds and the Crusaders.
Crusaders 2014 season
Nemani Nandolo of the Crusaders storms down the sideline during the Chiefs and Crusaders Super Rugby match.
Crusaders 2014 season
Brodie Retallick of the Chiefs and Samuel Whitelock of the Crusaders wrestle off the ball during the Chiefs and Crusaders Super Rugby match.
Crusaders 2014 season
Willi Heinz of the Crusaders in action during the Chiefs and Crusaders Super Rugby match.
Crusaders 2014 season
Samuel Whitelock of the Crusaders has a word with a team-mate during the Chiefs and Crusaders Super Rugby match.
Crusaders 2014 season
Pat McCabe of the Brumbies is tackled by Israel Dagg of the Crusaders.
Crusaders 2014 season
Colin Slade of the Crusaders kicks a conversion during the round 12 Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Brumbies.
Crusaders 2014 season
Sam Whitelock of the Crusaders is tackled during the round 12 Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Brumbies.
Crusaders 2014 season
Nemani Nadolo of the Crusaders dives over to score a try during the round 12 Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Brumbies.
Julian Savea
Julian Savea celebrates the Hurricanes' win over the Crusaders during their Round 17 Super Rugby match at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
Dan Carter
Dan Carter of the Crusaders looks to make a break against the Hurricanes during his first Super Rugby appearance of the season.
Ryan Crotty
Ryan Crotty, captain of the Crusaders, is tackled by Ardie Savea of the Hurricanes during their Super Rugby clash at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
Andy Ellis
Andy Ellis of the Crusaders and Dane Coles of the Hurricanes scuffle during their round 17 Super Rugby match.
05-CHP-CruVBlu1
Nemani Nadolo crashes over the line for the Crusaders under pressure from a stern Blues defence.
05-CHP-CruVBlu9
Crusaders centre Ryan Crotty has a cut at the Blues' line with Andy Ellis in support.
05-CHP-CruVBlu12
Crusaders wing Nemani Nadolo on the charge against the Blues at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
Ma'a Nonu
Blues star Ma'a Nonu is tackled by Dan Carter of the Crusaders during their round 18 Super Rugby match in Christchurch.
Andy Ellis
Andy Ellis, centre, of the Crusaders is tackled by Blues players Tony Woodcock (left) and Luke Braid (right) during his side's win in Christchurch.
Dominic Bird
Crusaders lock Dominic Bird powers through a number of would-be Blues defenders at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
Nemani Nadolo
Nemani Nadolo of the Crusaders dives over to score a try against the Blues in round 18.
Dan Carter
Crusaders second-five Dan Carter is tackled by All Blacks team-mate and Blues prop Tony Woodcock.
Jerome Kaino
Jerome Kaino of the Blues is tackled by Andy Ellis of the Crusaders during their round 18 Super Rugby match in Christchurch.
Colin Slade
Colin Slade shows his courage on a scything run against the Highlanders in round 19 of Super Rugby.
Colin Slade
Crusaders wing Nemani Nadolo fights for the ball in midair with Highlanders opposite Richard Buckman.
Colin Slade
New Zealand's top first five eighth Dan Carter on the break against the Highlanders.
Colin Slade
Israel Dagg shows his deft touch, unloading the ball while aerial in the tackle of Highlanders wing Patrick Osbourne.
Colin Slade
A Crusaders horseman spurs cheers from the Christchurch crowd ahead of their clash with the Highlanders.

They didn't score a try but the Crusaders snatched a rare Super Rugby away victory over the Chiefs in Hamilton last night on the back of Colin Slade's boot.

In front of 17,097 at Waikato Stadium Slade kicked his sixth penalty goal in the 71st minute to seal an 18-17 victory.

That closed the Crusaders within three points of the New Zealand Conference-leading Chiefs on the points table.

Sam Whitelock
UP THERE: Crusaders lock Sam Whitelock in the action against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

With the final hooter having sounded the Chiefs had one last shot at trying to wrest back the lead, but they had to do it from inside their own 22.

Standout fullback Tom Marshall led the breakout and patienceruled as they worked their way up to halfway before a ruck penaltygave Anscombe a 51 metre shot at winning the game.

But the ball dropped just under the crossbar and the Crusaders celebrated their first victory in Hamilton since July 2012.

Advertisement

Gareth Anscombe
WANTED MAN: Welch national team wants to poach Gareth Anscombe.

The first half had it all and while the Crusaders gained a slight edge in a mistake-ridden opening quarter, the Chiefs ground their way back into the match in the second 20 minutes as the rain started to fall to lead 17-9 at the break.

With both goal-kickers deadly from all angles and distances it was something of a penalty shootout for a while, Colin Slade banging overall three of his attempts to Gareth Anscombe's one in the first 15 minutes.

Both teams took turns at stringing together multiple phase attacks only to turn the ball over and find themselves back down the other end, but when big Crusaders lock laid out Chiefs No8 Liam Squire with a shoulder charge, referee Garratt Williamson ordered up a replay on the big screen and issued a yellow card to Bird in the 28th minute.

That was the break the home side were seeking, Anscombe kicking his second penalty goal and within nine minutes his third and fourth to put the Chiefs ahead 12-9 before the Crusaders second rower was able to get back from the sin-bin.But with both defences cancelling each other out in something of a stalemate for much of the half the second break for the Chiefs came inthe final minute before halftime.

As Williamson played another penalty advantage, having warned the visitors for persistent infringing in their own red zone, 21-year-oldhooker Rhys Marshall ran right to a big blindside off a ruck and a slick pass put his namesake, fullback Tom Marshall, outside Crusaders No8 Jordan Taufua.

The fullback then gassed it straight between halfback Willi Heinz and

fullback Israel Dagg to score, Anscombe just missing the wide-angled conversion attempt to end the half.

The first 40 minutes were marred by three players leaving the fieldfor concussion tests - Squire, Crusaders skipper Kieran Read andChiefs halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow.

Squire and Kerr-Barlow returnedbut were replaced at halftime, while Read never returned.

The Chiefs came out breathing fire and brimstone after the break and put together 25 phases to hammer the Crusaders' line, but again thedefence held and eventually forced an error.

Instead it was Slade who provided the half's first points with hisfourth penalty goal in the 50th minute but a mad-headed moment by the Chiefs, rushing when they didn't have to was not punished when Slade hit an upright with his fifth kick at goal and the home team broke out.

Fourteen minutes later in the 66th minute he struck the woodwork again, but the Chiefs' indiscipline kept feeding him chances and two more Slade penalty goals put the Crusaders in front 18-17 with nine minutes left to play.

And then the last-minute drama played out with Anscombe's forlornlong-range attempt at goal.

Crusaders 18 (Colin Slade 6 pens) Chiefs 17 (Tom Marshalltry; Gareth Anscombe 4 penalty goals). HT: 9-17.

Fairfax Media