Crusaders win Super 14

The final match of the 2006 Super 14 was played in appalling conditions and should really have been rescheduled. Fans in the stadium were not able to see the other side of the field and the TV crew had to put commentators on either side of the field as they too could not see what was happening on the field.

The brand new Super 14 trophy was also on display but no one would have known due to the terrible fog that arrived just before the match.

Due to the conditions being so poor the match was no spectacle. Every time the ball was kicked into the air it disappeared.

Largely due to the conditions, no tries were scored in the first half. Holwell missed an early chance to put the Hurricanes ahead. A few minutes later Piri Weepu got the first points over from 43m out.

Carter missed his first shot at goal but slotted two penalties later on to put the Crusaders ahead at half time. By half time fans in the upper levels had left the stadium as the fog was preventing them from seeing the match.

Four minutes into the second half Holwell kicked a penalty to bring the scores level at 6 all. Carter then had another shot at goal and the Crusaders were in front again.

The Fog didn’t clear at all in the second half and people at the southern end of the field had to watch the big screen behind them to see what was happening on the field at the northern end.

In the midst of all the fog Laulala got the only try of the night. Cater converted and the score was Crusaders 16 Hurricanes 9.

With 12 minutes to go Carter slotted another penalty to put the Crusaders 10 points ahead. Two minutes later the Crusaders gave away a penalty and Gopperth kicked to to bring the Hurricanes within 7 points.

The Hurricanes then threw everything they had at the Crusaders in the last minutes to try and level the scores which would have brought on an extra time period. As the hooter went the Hurricanes were still battling away at the Crusaders defence but failed to get through.

The Crusaders turned the ball over seconds after the hooter and Kaplan blew the whistle to make the Crusaders the first ever Super 14 champions.

Scorers –  Final score 19-12

Tries – Laulala, Conversions -Carter Penalties, Carter 3

Penalties – Weepu, Holwell, Gopperth 2


Crusaders: L MacDonald, R Gear, C Laulala, A Mauger, S Hamilton, D Carter, K Senio, W Crockett, C Flynn, G Somerville, C Jack, R Filipo, R Thorne, R McCaw (capt), M Tuiali’i.
Reserves: C Ralph, C McIntyre, S Brett, T Latimer, J Leo’o, C Johnstone, T Kopelani.

Hurricanes: I Toeava, Lome Fa’atau, M Nonu, T Umaga, S Paku; D Holwell, P Weepu, J Schwalger, A Hore, N Tialata, P Tito, J Eaton, J Collins, C Masoe, R So’oialo (capt).
Reserves: L Mahoney, J McDonnell, L Andrews, T Waldrom, B Haami, J Gopperth, T Ellison.

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