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Crusaders outshine Lions
Crusaders cruise into sixth place with Jo'burg win
The Crusaders moved into a play-off spot with a 23-13 victory over the Lions at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Both sides stayed true to their attacking instincts by giving the ball plenty of air but both were also guilty of committing too many errors.
Despite plenty of action during the first half, the game's opening points only came in the 19th minute when Butch James landed a penalty.
But Tom Taylor cancelled out the points a short while later with a place-kick of his own.
The latter part of the half saw both teams scoring tries, with Zac Guildford crossing in the 31st minute after running onto an inside pass from Dan Carter close to the tryline, before Patric Cilliers barged over the whitewash from close quarters five minutes later.
James slotted the conversion to give his side a 13-10 lead at the break but the Crusaders stepped up a gear after the restart.
They were rewarded soon after when Sean Maitland dived onto a beautifully weighted grubber kick from Israel Dagg behind the home side's tryline.
Taylor converted to give his team the lead again and from there the seven-time champions never relinquished their grip on the match.
The Christchurch-based franchise's backs, particularly Dagg and Guildford, looked dangerous on attack but they could not break down the Lions defence.
The hosts were also chasing the win but in their quest to add to their points tally they committed too many indiscretions and when it was in goal-kicking range Taylor punished them.
He added two further penalties which sealed the win for the Crusaders, while the Lions spurned an opportunity to secure a losing bonus point in injury time when James missed with his penalty attempt.
The win has moved the Crusaders into sixth position in the table while the Lions are in joint last place with the Rebels.
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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