Crusaders down Highlanders in SuperRugby trial

The Crusaders kicked off their Super Rugby pre-season warm ups with a 28-15 victory over the Highlanders in Motueka.

The Crusaders played an internal match last week against a development team so this is their first match against another team.

All Black fullback Israel Dagg opened the scoring on a soggy pitch with a 70m
run having pounced on a loose ball from the Highlanders.

Scrum-half Andy Ellis scored the Crusaders second try and both tries were
converted by Tyler Bleyendaal.

The match was played in quarters and after the first quarter the Crusaders
led 14-0 and then at half time they led 21-3 thanks to a Willie Ripia penalty
for the Highlanders.

Wing Nafi Tuitavake’s try has the Crusaders leading 28-3 half way through the
third quarter.

Centre Kieron Fonotia who is part of the Crusaders wider training group scored
their fourth try and Colin Slade converted.

Late Tries from former Rebels hooker Ged Robinson and Auckland centre Malakai
Fekitoa got the Highlanders closer but the gap was still too big.

Final Score Crusaders 28 (21) Highlanders 15 (3)

Scorers

Crusaders
Tries – Israel Dagg, Andy Ellis, Nafi Tuitavake, Kieron Fonotia
Pen –
Con – Tyler Bleyendaal 3, Colin Slade.
Drop –

Highlanders
Tries – Ged Robinson, Malakai Fekitoa
Pen – Willie Ripia
Con – Willie Ripia
Drop –

Teams

Crusaders

1 . Tim Perry , 2 . Ben Funnell , 3 . Nepo Laulala , 4 . Luke Romano , 5 . Dominic Bird , 6 . George Whitelock , 7 . Jed Brown , 8 . Jordan Taufua , 9 . Andy Ellis , 10 . Tyler Bleyendaal , 11 . Nafi Tuitavake , 12 . Ryan Crotty (Captain) , 13 . Reynold Lee-Lo , 14 . Rob Thompson , 15 . Israel Dagg

Replacements : 16 . Codie Taylor , 17 . Wyatt Crockett , 18 . Owen Franks , 19 . Joel Everson , 20 . Matt Todd , 21 . Willi Heinz , 22 . Colin Slade , 23 . Kieron Fonotia , Samuel Whitelock , Tom Taylor , Adam Whitelock , Zac Guildford , Mitchell Drummond , Corey Flynn , Daniel Lienert Brown

Highlanders

1.Chris King , 2.Braydon Mitchell , 3.Ma’afu Fia , 4.Brad Thorn , 5.Josh Bekhuis , 6.Gareth Evans , 7.John Hardie , 8.Elliot Dixon , 9.Frae Wilson , 10.Willie Ripia , 11.Malakai Fekitoa , 12.Phil Burleigh , 13.Jason Emery , 14.Patrick Osborne , 15.Kurt Baker

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