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Crusaders player ratings vs Chiefs | Super Rugby Pacific

By Jack O'Rourke
(Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

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The Crusaders hosted the Chiefs at Orangetheory Stadium on Saturday night in round four of Super Rugby Pacific. 

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Scott Robertson recalled several All Blacks to the forward pack including Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Sam Whitelock. It was a tough battle upfront with plenty of feeling from both sides.

The Chiefs were in the game heading into the second half, but the Crusaders calmly built their lead during the match and relied on their defence to repel wave after wave of Chiefs attack. Despite making over 200 tackles, it wasn’t enough to keep the Chiefs from scoring the match-winner right on full-time to end the match 24-21. 

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Here’s how the Crusaders rated:

1. Joe Moody – 7

The old bull was consistently breaking the line from his hit-ups in contact. A few passes didn’t go to hand but otherwise he was influential for the Saders before being subbed shortly after half time. 

2. Codie Taylor – 7.5

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Named as captain for the game, Taylor was all over the park in defence and attack. Won a few turnovers and was solid at lineout time. He was even seen ball-hawking on the right wing setting up his outside backs. 

3. Fletcher Newell – 6

Toiled away at tighthead prop, putting a massive shift in defence. Held up the scrum on his side, quickly becoming a player the organisation can rely on to put in a consistent performance. 

4. Quinten Strange – 5.5

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Back in the starting line-up due to the late withdrawal of Scott Barrett. Worked hard around the park but didn’t really assert himself on the match. Set a good platform in the scrum for his fellow forwards and was tireless in defence. 

5. Sam Whitelock – 7

As one of the more experienced players in the side, he led the forward pack around the ground admirably. Won some lineouts against the throw. 

6. Ethan Blackadder – 7 

Was amongst the best in the forward battle and seemingly popped up everywhere to offer support whenever the Saders made a line break. Drooped the ball five metres from the line to squander a certain Crusaders try in the first half. 

7. Tom Christie 6.5 

Like a typical openside, Christie was tenacious at the breakdown. With the game on the line, he put in a big shift in defence making 19 tackles. 

8. Pablo Matera – 7

Matera played his natural game, and was asked to be physical and direct with his carries. He was combative at the breakdown throughout the match. 

9. Bryn Hall – 7

After a great cameo of the bench last week, Hall started in the middle for this game and provided great service to his men outside him. Chose his moments to snipe from the base of the ruck and was always there to back up on the inside. 

10. Richie Mo’unga – 7

Looked dangerous early, challenging the line and finding gaps between defenders. He showed some silky skills at points but his biggest strength was his ability to control the game and build points. Came off with 10 minutes to go after succumbing to cramps.

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11. Leicester Fainga’anuku – 6

Went in looking for work off the ruck but the Chiefs were able to keep him out of action for most of the game. Subbed for George Bridge. 

12. David Havili – 7.5 

Returned to the midfield and looked to have bulked up in the offseason. He put that size to good use, carrying hard through the middle of the Chiefs defence. Was the lucky recipient of a bobbled ball to score the Crusaders opening try. Immense in defence and saved a try by stripping Pita-Gus Sowakula over the try line. 

13. Braydon Ennor 6.5 

Busted the line to create a lot of opportunities for his backline. Opened the scoring in the second half by running off a no-look pass for Codie Taylor to score under the posts.

14. Sevu Reece – 6

Showed some aerobatics early in the first half to keep the ball from going into touch off a Chiefs penalty kick. Was always a threat with his elusiveness and quick turn of pace but was often forced to run back infield looking for space. 

15. Will Jordan – 6.5

Punished the Chiefs wayward clearance kicking with stellar counter attack. Was fantastic in the air under the high ball. Tried to inject himself into the backline but had limited opportunities. 

Reserves

16. Shilo Klein – N/A

Came on with 10 minutes to go and contributed the Saders incredible defence.

17. Abraham Pole N/A

Made some big hits while he was on the field in the dying minutes of the game. 

18. George Bower – 6

Got into the game early in the second half and brought plenty of punch in defence. 

19. Dominic Gardiner N/A 

Only saw about seven minutes of game time. 

20. Cullen Grace – 6.5 

A handy replacement to bring on at the 55th minute. Was energetic in his efforts and was a leader in defence with the game in the balance. 

21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi – 6 

Came on with 20 minutes left to face his old team. Continued to provide good service to Mo’ounga and his performance sets up an intriguing selection battle with Hall. 

22. Fergus Burke – N/A

Subbed on for Mo’ounga with 10 minutes to go. 

23. George Bridge – 6

Came on in the 60th minute for Fainga’anuku but got limited time with the ball in his hands.

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