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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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- Potent Blues outclass Reds
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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 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|
|17:10||Bulls vs Crusaders|
|Friday 3rd April|
|07:35||Hurricanes vs Stormers|
|09:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Reds|
|Saturday 4th April|
|07:35||Chiefs vs Blues|
|09:40||Brumbies vs Cheetahs|
|14:00||Sharks vs Crusaders|
|16:05||Lions vs Bulls|
|Friday 10th April|
|08:35||Blues vs Brumbies|
|Saturday 11th April|
|08:35||Crusaders vs Highlanders|
|10:40||Waratahs vs Stormers|
|12:45||Western Force vs Cheetahs|
|14:00||Bulls vs Reds|
|16:05||Lions vs Sharks|
|Friday 17th April|
|08:35||Crusaders vs Chiefs|
|Saturday 18th April|
|05:30||Hurricanes vs Waratahs|
|08:35||Highlanders vs Blues|
|10:40||Brumbies vs Melbourne Rebels|
|12:45||Western Force vs Stormers|
|16:05||Sharks vs Bulls|
|Sunday 22nd March|
|Waratahs 28 - 13 Brumbies|
|Saturday 21st March|
|Sharks 12 - 11 Chiefs|
|Bulls 25 - 24 Western Force|
|Crusaders 57 - 14 Cheetahs|
|Friday 20th March|
|Melbourne Rebels 16 - 20 Lions|
|Highlanders 13 - 20 Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th March|
|Cheetahs 10 - 27 Sharks|
|Stormers 19 - 28 Chiefs|
|Reds 0 - 29 Brumbies|
|Highlanders 26 - 19 Waratahs|
|Crusaders 34 - 6 Lions|
|Friday 13th March|
|Western Force 17 - 21 Melbourne Rebels|
|Hurricanes 30 - 23 Blues|
|Saturday 7th March|
|Stormers 29 - 13 Sharks|
|Cheetahs 20 - 39 Bulls|
|Reds 5 - 23 Waratahs|
|Blues 10 - 13 Lions|
|Friday 6th March|
|Brumbies 27 - 15 Western Force|
|Chiefs 17 - 20 Highlanders|
|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|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com