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- 14th Apr 2012
- KO 08:35
- Ground: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Taylor haul sinks Stormers
Fly-half inspires Crusaders to hard-fought victory
Tom Taylor was the star of the show for Crusaders as they ended the Stormers' unbeaten start to the Super Rugby season with a 31-24 victory.
Taylor spectacularly justified his selection ahead of All Blacks star Daniel Carter at fly-half with a try, a conversion and eight penalties to ensure the Cape Town-based franchise were finally beaten in their seventh match.
The visitors, who crossed through Juan de Jongh and Bryan Habana, did at least leave Canterbury with a losing bonus point thanks to a late Peter Grant penalty.
The Stormers were dealt two early setbacks when both starting locks Adries Bekker and Eben Etzebeth were forced off with injuries which disrupted their set piece.
Taylor scored the first try of the game on 13 minutes, straight running and quick hands working the ball to Corey Flynn on the wing and his inside pass put the No.10 over.
Taylor converted his own score and added a penalty but sandwiched in between was a 21st minute try for De Jongh, one which kept the Stomers in contention - they trailed 19-13 at the interval.
The South Africans cut the gap further on the hour mark when Dewaldt Duvenage's clever crosskick was gathered by Habana who finished, though JP Pietersen missed the conversion which would have put them ahead.
A yellow card for flanker Rynhardt Elstadt for a high tackle, and Taylor's sixth penalty handed the momentum and a 25-21 lead to the Crusaders, and two more three-pointers from the fly-half sealed the victory.
Grant's penalty well after the siren earned the visitors a losing bonus point they thoroughly deserved for their part in a hugely-entertaining game.