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Crusaders too strong for Chiefs
Carter celebrates All Blacks deal with 20-point haul in Napier
Dan Carter booted 20 points for Canterbury in their 25-19 Super Rugby victory over the Waikato Chiefs on Saturday.
The All Blacks fly-half celebrated his new contract with New Zealand by landing five penalties, a conversion and a drop goal during the clash in Napier.
The win sees the Crusaders move to within six points of leaders Queensland Reds, who they meet next weekend in Brisbane.
The first half was a tight affair, Carter first taking the lead with a third minute penalty before opposite number Stephen Donald slotted two to give the Chiefs a 6-3 lead.
But Carter, pulled one back on 41 minutes to take the sides into the break with six apiece.
Luke Romano broke the deadlock soon after the break after he blasted through the Chiefs defence off the angle to crash over.
Cater, who has signed a four-year deal that will see him remain with the All Blacks and Canterbury until after the 2015 World Cup in England, struck the conversion to make it 13-6
Four minutes later the fly-half stretched the lead to 10 points with another penalty as the home side increasingly stamped their authority on the game.
But Carter's sometime All Black understudy Donald hit back within a minute with a three pointer of his own.
The pair exchanged penalties again before Carter slotted a cheeky drop goal to take the scores to 22-12 with nine minutes to go. And five minutes later he made it 25-12 with another penalty
Chiefs flanker Liam Messam forced his way over in the dying moments for a consolation try and Donald converted with the last kick of the game to bring proceedings to a close.
"A few of us were running on empty in that first half," Crusaders skipper Richie McCaw said in a televised interview.
"We knew we had to put them under pressure straight after half time and we got pressure in the first 10 minutes and got the points. From there it felt like we were in control."
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|Friday 13th February|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Reds|
|17:10||Lions vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th February|
|06:35||Blues vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Sharks vs Cheetahs|
|17:05||Bulls vs Stormers|
|Sunday 15th February|
|06:05||Waratahs vs Western Force|
|Friday 20th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Brumbies|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs|
|17:10||Bulls vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 21st February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Reds vs Western Force|
|15:05||Stormers vs Blues|
|17:10||Sharks vs Lions|
|Friday 27th February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Reds|
|11:00||Western Force vs Hurricanes|
|17:10||Cheetahs vs Blues|
|Saturday 28th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies|
|15:05||Bulls vs Sharks|
|17:10||Lions vs Stormers|
|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|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com