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- 3rd May 2014
- KO 08:35
- Ground: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Super Rugby: Brumbies pay the penalty as Crusaders claim 40-20 win
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Colin Slade kicked 23 points to help the Crusaders cruise to a 40-20 win over the Brumbies in Christchurch on Saturday.
This was another feather in the cap for Todd Blackadder's side, who have now won four in a row after losing three of their opening five matches.
First-half physicality was key to the Crusaders building up their 22-6 lead and from there Brumbies were always playing catch-up.
Five Slade penalties had given the hosts a useful advantage and that was added to on the stroke of half-time when Johnny McNicholl finished well for the opening try.
Further tries from Nemani Nadolo and Luke Whitlock added gloss to the scoreline, with Brumbies, who hit back with tries from Stephen Moore and Pat McCabe, coming up well short.
Penalties were frequent in the opening half, with even Richie McCaw being picked up for a ruck offence by referee Glen Jackson. McCaw turned in an eyecatching performance by making the most tackles for his side and playing a full 80.
Slade's kicking off the tee was perfect in the first 40 minutes as his side led 15-6 a couple of minutes before the interval, when McNicholl struck.
Patient build-up around the Brumbies' 22 ended with a pass from Sam Whitelock out wide to McNicholl, who jinked his way inside and drove over low for the try.
The Brumbies just had to respond and they looked like a different team in the beginning of the second half with Moore's try - the Wallaby hooker stepping his way over from close range after his team upped the ante.
It was a handy reminder for the Crusaders that the job wasn't done. Slade added his sixth penalty following a collapsed scrum on the edge of the 22.
A stroke of luck helped their cause. The Brumbies were pressed back inside their half and when forced to kick, through Toomua, there was a classic Superman dive from Sam Whitelock to charge down the ball, Nadolo scooping up and running home to score.
The Brumbies penalty count was killing their chances, reaching ten by the 58-minute mark, but Slade spared them further punishment with a missed penalty.
He didn't have to wait long for another chance as Sam Carter went offside; Slade landing his seventh of the night.
Facing a 20-point deficit the Brumbies then lost Luke Romano to the sin bin within minutes of coming on and Luke Whitlock punished them in the corner.
McCabe picked up a consolation score by cutting back through a gaping hole next to Nepo Laulala to add a bit more respectability to the scoreboard, but the contest was long over. This marked another milestone on the Crusaders' road to not just recovery, but also the playoffs.
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|Friday 6th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
|15:05||Cheetahs vs Bulls|
|17:10||Stormers vs Sharks|
|Friday 13th March|
|06:35||Hurricanes vs Blues|
|11:00||Western Force vs Melbourne Rebels|
|Saturday 14th March|
|03:30||Crusaders vs Lions|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Waratahs|
|08:40||Reds vs Brumbies|
|13:00||Stormers vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Cheetahs vs Sharks|
|Friday 20th March|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Hurricanes|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Lions|
|Saturday 21st March|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Cheetahs|
|15:05||Bulls vs Western Force|
|17:10||Sharks vs Chiefs|
|Sunday 22nd March|
|05:05||Waratahs vs Brumbies|
|Friday 27th March|
|06:35||Hurricanes vs Melbourne Rebels|
|09:00||Reds vs Lions|
|Saturday 28th March|
|05:30||Chiefs vs Cheetahs|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Stormers|
|08:40||Waratahs vs Blues|
|15:05||Sharks vs Western Force|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Lions 19 - 22 Stormers|
|Bulls 43 - 35 Sharks|
|Melbourne Rebels 15 - 20 Brumbies|
|Chiefs 40 - 16 Crusaders|
|Friday 27th February|
|Cheetahs 25 - 24 Blues|
|Western Force 13 - 42 Hurricanes|
|Highlanders 20 - 13 Reds|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Sharks 29 - 12 Lions|
|Stormers 27 - 16 Blues|
|Reds 18 - 6 Western Force|
|Highlanders 20 - 26 Crusaders|
|Friday 20th February|
|Bulls 13 - 17 Hurricanes|
|Melbourne Rebels 28 - 38 Waratahs|
|Chiefs 19 - 17 Brumbies|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Waratahs 13 - 25 Western Force|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Bulls 17 - 29 Stormers|
|Sharks 29 - 35 Cheetahs|
|Blues 18 - 23 Chiefs|
|Friday 13th February|
|Lions 8 - 22 Hurricanes|
|Brumbies 47 - 3 Reds|
|Crusaders 10 - 20 Melbourne Rebels|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com