Crusaders player ratings vs Chiefs | Super Rugby Pacific
A commendable defensive effort from the Crusaders has seen them topple the Chiefs and draw one step closer to their 13th title.
Despite being on the wrong side of the territory and possession percentages as well as the tackle and penalty tally, the hosts were clinical with the chances afforded to them and were resolute in keeping the Waikato-based outfit at bay.
Their discipline will need to be addressed if they’re to secure another trophy, but Scott Robertson will be proud of his team’s effort given all they endured on the stat sheet and having played for close to half an hour with only 14 men.
Here’s how the Crusaders rated:
1. George Bower – 5/10
Would have been disappointed with the missed tackle on Angus Ta’avao that saw him score, but was otherwise solid in all other instances. Looks to be a choice between him and Ethan de Groot for the No 1 jersey in Ian Foster’s side.
2. Codie Taylor – 5
Managed to clock up double digits in the tackle column (11) before being substituted for McAlister at the break – must have had some sort of niggle.
3. Oli Jager – 5
Did well to look fresh as long as he did after so many scrum resets, not to mention the repeat efforts he made when soaking up wave after wave of Chiefs attack.
4. Scott Barrett – 7
An instrumental performance from the skipper in what would have seen him under more stress than other weeks with Sam Whitelock’s late withdrawal. Relentless in his pursuit of the ball carrier and laid it all on the line when asked to truck it up or absorb the contact.
5. Zach Gallagher – 4
A mixed bag from the youngster. Spilled a great attacking chance at a lineout and penalised on a couple of occasions to relieve the opposition of any pressure. It’d be remiss not to mention his security at all his other jumps, though, and the zero misses in 20 attempts on D.
6. Pablo Matera – 2
Sent to the naughty chair for repeated infringements in the 20th minute. Was back on the field for roughly a minute before receiving his second yellow for a high shot on Gatland.
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7. Tom Christie – 6
It’s almost inevitable that when this guy gets a start he’ll have made the most use of shoulders in comparison to everyone else on the park. The openside was responsible for more than 13 per cent of the Crusaders’ tackles having tallied 30 out of the 222.
8. Cullen Grace – 8
On a night that saw the game fall in the hands of the forwards, it was Grace whose display spoke the loudest. Showed great speed off the mark before extending his inspector-gadget-like arm over for his first score and kept his torso warm on a chilly evening with a feast of collisions.
9. Bryn Hall – 5
Yapped away at his pack until the sign went up in the 50th minute to bring his night to a close. Did a great job of making life difficult for Brad Weber by harassing him at every chance while also nailing his core duties in less than desirable conditions.
10. Richie Mo’unga – 6
Big-time players make big-time plays. His pressure on Alex Nankivell to force a drop that then turned into a five-metre scrum at the other end of the field was a game-changer, but to then follow it up by slipping past Ta’avao before laying on the perfect pass to Grace for his second was just remarkable.
11. Leicester Fainga’anuku – 5
Huge intercept on the stroke of halftime to prevent the Chiefs from cutting the deficit. Was only forced into making a handful of other defensive efforts as well as having quiet but effective contributions with the ball.
12. David Havili – 5
His night looked to have ended early after taking a knee from Pita Gus Sowakula to the cheek; however, he showed no signs of care for the knock after returning from his HIA and was one of a number of Crusaders who seemed to be getting off the deck every second phase.
13. Jack Goodhue – 6
A real blue-collar performance from the ever-consistent All Black. Carried hard, flexed his kicking game when required and finished as the top tackler in the backs (17) without a single miss.
14. Sevu Reece – 5
The weather meant the Fijian flyer wouldn’t be afforded the same chances he’d usually be getting, although this didn’t make him any less interested in tonight’s proceedings. Tackled everything down his channel and was the first one to celebrate the small wins with his teammates.
15. Will Jordan – 7
Posed a threat with every touch, but was even more impactful on the flip side. The effort he showed in covering on numerous occasions was pivotal in keeping the Chiefs out of their in-goal area and demonstrated to the rugby public that there’s more to his game than just crossing the chalk.
16. Brodie McAlister – 6
Replaced Taylor at the interval and came up with a couple of big turnovers as part of the red and black wall.
17. Tamaiti Williams – 6
Made use of all 140kg of him while also doing a number on the Chiefs’ reserve props at scrum time.
18. Fletcher Newell – 5
Not quite as noticeable as Williams around the park, but did his part to keep things steady at the set piece.
19. Quinten Strange – 5
Returned to the action earlier than expected after sustaining a calf injury back in April. Battled away after being thrust into the fire for the final quarter.
20. Corey Kellow – N/A
Got a handful of minutes off the bench.
21. Mitchell Drummond – 5
Not as influential as we’ve come to expect, although he didn’t put a foot wrong either.
22. Braydon Ennor – N/A
On for Goodhue in the 67th minute.
23. George Bridge – 5
A couple of nice kick takes and runs in his brief cameo.
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