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Crusaders v Blues - Live
CRUSADERS 23 - 3 BLUES
80 One last break out from Ranger comes to nothing. A big win from the Crusaders in the end. Thanks for joining us, cheers.
78 The Crusaders look to end with a flourish but Luke Braid forces the penalty for hanging on under the sticks. The Blues will have one last fling before the hooter.
76 Good competing from the Blues as they win it back on the deck. The visitors are fighting to the end but it's a lost cause.
73 OOUUFF! The Crusaders smash the Blues at scrum time and get the penalty. Carter sets up the line-out. Is there enough time to chase two tries and a bonus point?
71 A great kick from Carter puts Halai under pressure at the back. The Blues wing make a bit of a hash of it before getting his kick away. Guildford is wrapped up as he takes it in but the Crusaders have made 40-odd metres out of it all.
69 The ship looks to have sailed for the Blues. The score is not a fair refection of the game at all, but typically the Crusaders have made the most of every chance they've been given. Both benches are emptied for one last push.
66 Noakes goes for the line but is wrapped up. Turnover! Carter clears. Sam Whitelock steals a crucial line-out. Carter clears so the Blues have to try build from half way but the Crusaders come charging up to shut them down.
64 WHAT?????? WHAT??? The TMO says "inconclusive" evidence. That's mad. Halai clearly got the ball onto the grass. The crazy TMO decisions continue this weekend.
63 Frank Halai is over! Has he got it down though? Great attack from the Blues either way. The TMO will decide...
60 Noakes finds touch this time from a penalty deep in the Crusaders 22. He made sure this time. The Blues must score here if they hope to save a bonus point.
56 PENALTY, CRUSADERS, TAYLOR. 23-3. Angus Ta'avao is offside as Carter chips over the top, handing Taylor the chance to extend the lead to 20. He sends it straight down the middle.
54 Izzy Dagg comes on for Fruean, who has been very quiet. Taylor moves to outside centre. The Crusaders are back on the attack, probing on the verge of the Blues 22.
52 Shocking error from Chris Noakes! The Blues have a penalty and a chance to get back in the game but the fly-half sends the ball over the tryline as looks to gain maximum distance. The Blues coaches must be boiling.
50 CONVERSION, TAYLOR. 20-3. That looks like a winning lead.
49 TRY, CRUSADERS, FRANKS. 18-3. A classic line-out and maul is unstoppable and Owen Franks scores his third Super Rugby try.
47 Here come the red jerseys with a big rolling maul! It's stopped just 2m short of the tryline. Carter looks to chip ahead but is charged down - no matter, the ref was playing advantage for a side entry. The Crusaders set up the line-out.
45 It's all Crusaders in the second half as they pound away in the Blues 22 after another stolen line-out. Crotty makes his first error of the night as he drops it and the Blues are let off.
43 A couple of big runs from Matt Todd and Sam Whitelock put the Crusaders into the Blues 22. The ball is spilt though and Weepu will feed the 7-man Blues scrum.
Second half Here we go for round two! Carter kicks us off. The Crusaders pack chases up well to force a line-out on the Blues 10m line.
CRUSADERS 13 - 3 BLUES
40 PENALTY, CRUSADERS, TAYLOR. 13-3. Great strike from out wide from Taylor to give the hosts a 10-point lead at the break. We'll be back in ten.
40 YELLOW CARD, BLUES, C. RETALLICK! The Blues end the half a man down after Culum Retallick is sent to the bin for an intentional knock down with the Crusaders threatening the try line.
39 Dan Cater has made a bucketload of tackles tonight. He makes another telling hit on Halai to force a turnover. The half will end with the Crusaders in possession.
37 Oh, it's getting very loose now as Piutau chips ahead for himself, four players converge on it but the bounce beats them all. Taylor hacks it ahead but the ref calls them back for an accidental offside. The Blues are back in Crusaders territory...can they strike before half time?
34 Halai knocks on leaving the Crusaders with a tricky scrum in the corner. Carter doesn't connect cleanly but Crotty is up very fast and pounces on Piutau. The break is on here as the Crusaders send it wide...but Marshall drops it!
32 Another mistake from Dan Carter who kicks it out on the full, meaning the Blues can attack from a line out just outside the Crusaders 22.
30 PENALTY, BLUES, NOAKES. 10-3. The visitors are on the board after Romano is penalised for a no-arms tackle on Perry.
27 CONVERSION, TAYLOR. 10-0. The Blues have done all the playing but trail by 10 points due to a few silly errors.
26 TRY, CRUSADERS, CROTTY. 8-0. Oh! Soft try! Noakes is charged down by Crotty, who collects the loose ball and cruises home untouched.
23 PENALTY, CRUSADERS, TAYLOR. 3-0. First blood to the hosts after Ali Williams is penalised - again. This time for hands in the ruck.
20 Ali Williams is penalised for coming in from the side of a ruck so Carter can send play back to the Blues half. The hosts have a rare opportunity to attack.
18 A promising move from the Blues breaks down when Ranger throws a speculative pass out wide. The Crusaders have been looking to kick long while the Blues have been looking to attack with ball in hand.
15 Ranger bounces Taylor off but Ellis steal the ball at the ruck! Luke Romano races clear ...he needs to pass to Carter on his outside but he hangs on and is tackled! A try scoring opportunity is lost.
13 We've seen one line-out steal from each side so far, but no real scoring opportunities. Ranger busts clear from inside his own half, this looks dangerous...
10 MISSED PENALTY from Crusaders full-back Tom Taylor, who can't find the target from 50m out. It was always going to be ambitious from there in this rain. Mealamu pinged for hands on the deck.
8 All the early possession is with the Blues. Some very big hits going in, Steve Luatua getting stuck in. Progress is slow however, even if the Blues are looking to move the ball around.
6 Noakes goes to the air eventually but his kick isn't great. A bit of kick tennis now. Carter overcooks one and sends it out on the full. Blues line-out on the Crusaders 10m line.
4 The Blues keeping it tight which is understandable considering the conditions. The visitors chip away 30m out, looking for a hole in the Crusaders defence.
Kick-off Here we go! The Blues kick us off. The Crusader are unable to clear there lines after Funnell is isolated and held on. Strong start for Kev Mealamu who forces the turnover.
Weather Wet. Very wet
Flynn out Corey Flynn is a late withdrawal from the Crusaders side! Ben Funnell starts with Codie Taylor coming onto the bench.
Team news 102 Test veteran Keven Mealamu has overcome a calf strain to start for the Blues, while Culum Retallick and Luke Braid also return to bolster a powerful forward pack.
Team news The Crusaders are boosted by the return of captain Kieran Read while Israel Dagg must again make do with a bench spot. Andy Ellis earns his 100th Super Rugby cap.
Welcome Hello and welcome to AMI Stadium in Christchurch for our coverage of probably the biggest Super Rugby clash of the weekend. The rivalry between New Zealand's most successful teams is fierce enough but with so much on the line today, sparks are set to fly. A whopping seventeen members of the recently named All Blacks training squad are involved today!
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|Newcastle Falcons 13 - 18 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 14 - 43 Northampton|
|London Irish 9 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Exeter 27 - 19 Saracens|
|Leicester Tigers 18 - 16 Wasps|
|Friday 28th November|
|Bath 25 - 6 Harlequins|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester Tigers|
|Saracens 24 - 31 Northampton|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|London Irish 23 - 33 Bath|
|Exeter 31 - 15 Wasps|
|Friday 21st November|
|Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 Gloucester|
|Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Sunday 16th November|
|Wasps 71 - 7 London Welsh|
|Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 Saracens|
|Saturday 15th November|
|Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle Falcons|
|Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London Irish|
|Friday 14th November|
|Gloucester 15 - 22 Harlequins|
|Northampton 18 - 24 Exeter|
Rupert Cox shares his highlights from the week's rugby action in his round-up blog...
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