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Crusaders v Reds - Live
80 Full-time in Christchurch. It wasn't pretty and the Crusaders didn't play well but they won't mind too much as the points are in the bag. Thanks for following.
79 The Crusaders are showing all of their experience here by just winding down the clock with breakdown after breakdown. It will be a home scrum on halfway.
77 TAYLOR PENALTY! 15-11! That could be that judging from how this game has gone. The offence was Davies being caught not knowing what he was going to do in his own 22. He could have cleared but decided to run and found his path closed by Carter. Net result, he was isolated and held on. Taylor obliged off the tee to make it a four-point lead.
74 Ryan Crotty and Radike Samo are on for the Crusaders and Reds respectively for the final stages here in Christchurch. One point in it with six minutes left.
73 TAYLOR PENALTY! 12-11! The lead is back with them!
72 Suddenly the tempo has lifted as Carter makes ground while Crockett readies himself on the touchline. They have a penalty for Gill having his hands in the ruck.
69 They are given a second opportunity though after Higginbotham is lying on the wrong side at ruck time, which allows the Crusaders to get up to the 22. Can they manage to get the quiet Freuan into this game or will the Reds continue to hold out their hosts?
66 So with fifteen minutes remaining, the Crusaders have a penalty from 45 metres out but it's into the wind so they decide to put it into touch. Here comes Read on the crash from the resulting line-out, but it's another handling error that infuriates this home crowd.
63 HARRIS PENALTY! 9-11! Solid kick from the centre.
62 CROCKETT YELLOW! A no-arm tackle on Genia could cost the Crusaders this game. A three-point shot is coming for Harris against the fourteen men.
60 Saia Faingaa is now on for Hanson as opposing hooker Flynn has his throw pinched by Simmons at the tail. He won't have to wait long for another chance at the set-piece though will the hooker as he finds number eight Read from the other touchline.
57 But what a recovery from the Reds as they manage to wheel the set-piece and earn themselves a relieving scrum, which they clear from. Amazing escape.
55 Crusaders scrum after a crooked throw from Hanson. Massive moment you sense as Heinz waits to put-in, five metres out from the Queenslanders' whitewash.
53 The Crusaders scrum has been another level up today as they dominate once again to win themselves a penalty. Hats off to Ben Franks in particular there. And hasn't that almost had its reward as Carter switches play and finds a hole 45 metres out. Can he go all the way here? He's within eight now and hands it to Guildford, but he is bundled into touch.
50 The cross-field again from the Reds, this time Lucas finds Shipperley who gets to within 30 metres. But that's superb counter-rucking from the New Zealanders.
48 TAYLOR PENALTY! 9-8! Three more for the Crusaders then while Ellis leaves the field for Willi Heinz. No injury there, is just a straight replacement.
47 What a turnaround that change has brought?! The Crusaders are on the march here with Ellis almost crossing before being hauled down a metre or so from the line. A penalty is coming for offside soon after though so there is some consolation for them.
44 HARRIS PENALTY! 6-8! A first successful kick of the match for Harris after excellent work again from openside Liam Gill at the breakdown. And that leads to All Blacks captain Richie McCaw taking off his tracksuit and replacing Todd. Cue big cheers.
Second-half Welcome back to the action with Rob Simmons being alive to the Crusaders' short kick-off, allowing the Reds some early front-foot ball. Great surge from Holmes as the Reds get within 30 metres now. Can they start like they did in the first 40?
40 But nothing comes of their ploy as a dominant Crusaders scrum soon after leads to possession being coughed up by the visitors. That is that then for the first-half in Christchurch with the hosts 6 points to 5. Stay with us for the second-half of this clash.
37 Now it is centre Freuan penalised by Lawrence for what is called a high tackle on replacement Reds back Rod Davies about 45 metres out. And I think it is the right call from the Reds to go for touch instead of a lottery kick for goal in this wind.
34 What a miss. The Reds should have been back in front following Sam Whitelock being caught on the wrong side of a ruck, but centre Harris hooks this one.
31 Oh dear, has the injury curse of the Reds number ten jersey continues as Lucas goes down and is in need of some medical attention? Luckily for coach Ewen McKenzie it is 'only' a cut head above the ear for his fly-half. It looks pretty painful mind you.
29 No, he misses to the left in these windy Christchurch conditions.
28 Lucas is penalised by Lawrence for sealing off so here is a chance for Taylor to extend the lead to four points. A few of the Reds are not happy about the decision but it is the right one as Lucas made the wrong decision there. So, can Taylor knock it over?
26 Little to report over the last four minutes as it's all gone a touch flat thanks to Carter and several Reds exchanging kicks. That all ends with the Reds in possession close to the home ten-metre as they look to go wide, with Dom Shipperley finally involved.
22 TAYLOR PENALTY! 6-5! Greg Holmes is penalised by Lawrence at scrum-time and that leads to Taylor putting the Crusaders into the lead for the first time.
20 There is one of those set moves from the Crusaders' line-out that sees Matt Todd almost gather from Freuan. However, the Reds were alive to that as Luke Romano goes to the blood bin, with Ross Kennedy (late call-up for Tom Donnelly) coming on.
18 Ellis is now swamped at line-out time as Corey Flynn looked for a short one and so possession is once again coughed up. Now his opposite number Will Genia looks for territory but that's not good enough as Dagg responds well from his own 22 to touch.
14 Bryce Lawrence is hot on the breakdown today as he pings Ioane for holding on. Give him a second Bryce. But enough of that as the Crusaders could now be over. Guildford first came mighty close to stepping his way over and then Read is finally held up.
11 Lovely cross-field kick from Harris finds Scott Higginbotham wide on halfway. Now, can he get away from Dagg? No is the answer as the full-back clips his leg to bring down the big number eight and in fact Guildford helps out to force the relieving penalty.
8 TAYLOR PENALTY! 3-5! He judges the wind well.
7 Better from the Crusaders as they use Israel Dagg, Freuan and now Zac Guildford on the left. And that leads to the Reds being offside so Taylor lines up three.
5 Good line from Faingaa as the Reds look to apply more pressure on their hosts until a knock-on sees that passage end. Andy Ellis now puts in just outside his 22.
2 HANSON TRY! 0-5! Weak defence on the fringe and the Reds power over the whitewash wide on the left. Wow, great start as Mike Harris misses the extras.
Kick-off Here we go with a great start for the Reds seeing them reclaim possession from the kick-off. They are five metres out and looking to land an early blow.
Team news Tom Taylor is once again retained in the number ten position, with Dan Carter occupying twelve alongside the in-form Robbie Freuan. Meanwhile the Reds have Anthony Faingaa back in a midfield boost. He clashes with the aforementioned Freuan.
Welcome Hello and welcome to the final game of Round 11 in Super Rugby 2012. We are in Christchurch today for a repeat of last year's final between the Crusaders and Reds. There is no Sonny Bill Williams (departed) and Quade Cooper (injured) this time around, but it should still be an interesting match. Stay tuned for any last-minute team news.
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|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
So much can change in a week of sporting action and, sure enough, there have been plenty of highs and lows over the past seven days.
The Crusaders will take on the Waratahs in the Super Rugby final after both sides registered eye-catching semi-final victories on Saturday.
Crusaders v Sharks: 8.25am, Sat, Sky Sports 1 HD
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com