Crusaders become first NZ team to win in SA

The Crusaders became the first team to cross the Indian Ocean and win when they beat the Lions 7-28 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Until now no team has crossed the Indian Ocean either way and come away with a victory on tour this season.

The Chiefs came the closest with two draws but they were unable to win a match in South Africa.

The Crusaders outscored the Lions by three tries to one and managed to keep the Lions scoreless for the first 50 minutes of the match.

The match was not the most entertaining of Round 8 and both sides appeared
listless for most of the match.

The visitors’ six point lead at the half-time break was a true reflection of
the game in the opening 40 minutes of the match.

Other than the odd line break by either side, there was little to be excited
about in the duel between the Lions and the uncharacteristically listless Crusaders.

The Lions had to defend with all their might in the opening exchanges as the
Crusaders made an early assault on the line.

In the end the tourists’ had to be content with three points via a penalty
conversion by Colin Slade in the 10th minute before he added another three minutes
later.

The hosts made a few charges on the goal line but poor finishing ultimately
saw the opportunities go to waste.

Lions flanker Willie Britz was one of a few standout players in the encounter
and he nearly always had a hand in some of the positive movements in their play.

After a forgetful first half, the match finally seemed to kick into gear after
the interval with the Crusaders finding the first breakthrough.

The Crusaders were rewarded for sustained pressure on the line with captain
Ryan Crotty finding the gap inside the 22 where he was ankle tapped before he
got back to his feet to score, with Slade converting.

Three minutes later Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff had a rare miss with his
penalty conversion attempt.

The missed kicked was soon forgotten when Lions centre Lionel Mapoe scored
his side’s first and only try of the match in the 51st minute.

Mapoe dotted down on the left-hand corner after good interplay between the
players with Britz playing an instrumental part in the try.

The curly-haired flanker handled the ball on three occasions while he came
close to scoring before he was stopped short of the line, with Boshoff converting
to cut down the deficit to six points.

Crotty was denied his second try when he pounced on a spilt Lions ball and
it initially appeared as if he had scored the try.

Match referee Marius van der Westhuizen awarded the try but then as Slade was
lining up for the conversion referee Stuart Berry came in and asked Van der
Westhuizen to check the grounding.

The referee went to the TMO who ruled that the grounding was short and the
try was overruled. The Crusaders were however soon awarded a penalty and fullback
Israel Dagg extended their lead by three more points thanks to a penalty conversion
in the 69th minute as Colin Slade had to leave the field for blood.

Four minutes later scrumhalf Andy Ellis scored from a turnover ball before
Kieron Fonotia added the third try a minute from time fielding a Dagg grubber
kick to seal the victory.

Final Score Lions 7 (0) Crusaders 28 (6)

Scorers

Lions
Tries – L.Mapoe
Pen –
Con – M.Boshoff
Drop –
Cards –

Crusaders
Tries – R.Crotty, A Ellis,K. Fonotia
Pen – C.Slade 2, I Dagg
Con – C.Slade, I Dagg
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee
: Marius van der Westhuizen

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