Crusaders crush Brumbies play off dream

The Crusaders earned a 24-37 bonus point Super Rugby victory in Canberra which helps the Waratahs and gives the Brumbies a more difficult play off and an extra qualification game.

The Crusaders were out of contention for the play-offs for the first time since 2001 but gave legends Dan Carter and Richie McCaw a happy send off in their final games for the Crusaders.

The result means that the Waratahs will win the Australian Conference and will get next week off and then host a Super Rugby Semi-final in Sydney.

Both teams were awarded a penalty try each but the Crusaders outscored the Brumbies by four tries to three.

The result means that potentially the Crusaders can finish with more points in the overall standings than the Stormers who will progress to the play offs by virtue of them being the top South African team.

Regardless of what happens in other results the Brumbies will finish in sixth place and they will travel to Cape Town or Sydney next week for a qualification final.

Richie McCaw retires from Super Rugby being the only player to have won 100 Super Rugby matches and 100 test matches.

Carter, the top points-scorer in international rugby, will transfer to French club Racing Metro after this year’s World Cup, while All Blacks captain McCaw has indicated he intends to retire after the tournament.

It was a painful home defeat for the Brumbies, who missed the chance to press for the Australian conference title ahead of the Waratahs’ final regular round match with the Queensland Reds in Sydney later Saturday.

If the Waratahs win they will condemn the Brumbies to a play-off next weekend against South Africa’s Stormers in Cape Town.

But it was a crowning night for the two greats of New Zealand rugby – McCaw and Carter.

“It was good to finish on a win, it was a big motivating factor going into this week,” Carter said.

“It’s been a pretty inconsistent, frustrating year but to finish on a high here in Canberra is pretty satisfying.”

McCaw said he finished the Super XV season with a smile after beating the Crusaders’ great Australian rivals.

“To finish off tonight with a performance like that against the old rivals the Brumbies brings a big smile and some great memories and more than likely this will be the last one for me as well,” McCaw said.

The Brumbies scored first with one of three tries all off rolling mauls in the opening minutes, but the Crusaders dominated for the majority of the match, finishing four tries to three winners.

It was always going to prove a tall order for the Brumbies to beat the Crusaders with a four-try bonus point and Canterbury’s win was their fifth straight against the Canberra-based side.

“We had a crack and I was proud of our effort but we were just not good enough,” said skipper Stephen Moore, who was playing his 100th match for the Brumbies.

“The Crusaders put us under pressure, particularly with their kicking game. They turned us around all night and we couldn’t just get enough field position.”

Giant Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo terrorised the Brumbies’ defence with his crashing runs and scored two tries, his second just before half-time coming after he left three defenders strewn on the ground and won the chase to his kick to score in the corner.

The Crusaders led 21-10 at half-time and the Brumbies’ task become even harder when Wallaby flanker David Pocock failed to return for the second half with concussion.

The Crusaders victory is their fifth consecutive victory over the Brumbies.

Final Score Brumbies 24 (10) Crusaders 37 (21)

Scorers

Brumbies 
Tries – D.Pocock, J.Butler, Penalty Try
Pen – C.Lealiifano
Con – C.Lealiifano 3
Drop – 
Cards -J.Mogg (41st min yellow)

Crusaders
Tries – N.Nadolo 2, M.Todd, Penalty Try
Pen – D,Carter 5
Con – D.Carter
Drop – 
Cards -S.Whitelock (47th min yellow)

Match Officials
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant Ref 2:Damien Mitchelmore
TMO : George Ayoub

Teams

Brumbies

1. Scott Sio , 2. Stephen Moore (c) , 3. Ben Alexander , 4. Rory Arnold , 5. Blake Enever , 6. Scott Fardy , 7. David Pocock , 8. Ita Vaea , 9. Nic White , 10. Christian Lealiifano , 11. Joe Tomane , 12. Robbie Coleman , 13. Tevita Kuridrani , 14. Henry Speight , 15. Jesse Mogg

Replacements : 16. Josh Mann-Rea , 17. Allan Alaalatoa , 18. Ruan Smith , 19. Jordan Smiler , 20. Jarrad Butler , 21. Michael Dowsett , 22. Matt Toomua , 23. James Dargaville

Crusaders

1 Wyatt Crockett ,2 Codie Taylor,3 Owen Franks,4 Luke Romano , 5.Sam Whitelock , 6. Matt Todd 7. Richie McCaw ,8 Kieran Read (c) ,9 Andy Ellis ,10 Dan Carter ,11 Nemani Nadolo ,12 David Havili ,13 Ryan Crotty ,14 Jone Macilai ,15 Tom Taylor

Replacements : 16 Ben Funnell ,17 Alex Hodgman,18 Nepo Laulala ,19 Jimmy Tupou , 20 Jordan Taufua ,21 Billy Guyton ,22 Colin Slade,23 Nafi Tuitavake

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