EMOTION WAS running high in the first game of this weekend’s Super 15 as the Canterbury Crusaders played their first game since the terrible earthquake that rocked the Christchurch area.
With the Jade Stadium closed until 15 March the Crusaders switched the game to Nelson and delivered a 33-18 victory for their fans over their rivals from New South Wales.
The seven-times Super Rugby champions brought a tiny amount of relief to one part of the land of the long white cloud to prove they will be, once again, one of the favourites for the title in 2011.
Sonny Bill Williams scored one and got the chance to show what a threat he will be at the World Cup wrecking havoc in the centres with Robbie Fruean who scored the Crusaders other two tries. Predictably Dan Carter slotted 18 points – well, when doesn’t he?
The Waratahs weren’t helped by a nightmare day for Fly-half Daniel Halangahu – in for the injured Berrick Barnes – and the Aussies were forced to bring Kurtley Beale into the kick duties.
Crusaders – Tries: Robbie Fruean (2), Sonny Bill Williams. Conversions: Dan Carter (3) Penalties: Carter (4)
Waratahs – Tries: Tom Carter, Luke Burgess, Afa Pakalani. Penalty: Kurtley Beale
Referee: Chris Pollock (NZL)
By the clock
6th – Tom Carter try; Daniel Halangahu missed conversion. HSBC Waratahs 5-0
9th – Dan Carter penalty goal. HSBC Waratahs 5-3
13th – Daniel Halangahu missed penalty attempt.
17th – Dan Carter penalty goal. Crusaders 6-5
20th – Luke Burgess try; Daniel Halangahu missed conversion. HSBC Waratahs 10-6
25th – Kurtley Beale penalty goal. HSBC Waratahs 13-6
29th – Dan Carter penalty goal. HSBC Waratahs 13-9
30th – Robbie Fruean try; Dan Carter conversion. Crusaders 16-13
34th – Robbie Fruean try; Dan Carter conversion. Crusaders 23-13
40th – Dan Carter penalty goal. Crusaders 26-13
42nd – Sonny Bill Williams try; Dan Carter conversion. Crusaders 33-13
74th – Afa Pakalani try; Kurtley Beale missed conversion. Crusaders 33-18