Crusaders Player Ratings vs Force | Super Rugby Pacific
Defending Super Rugby Pacific champions the Crusaders have shown their class during a convincing 48-13 win over the Western Force in round 11.
Playing at Christchurch’s Orangetheory Stadium on Saturday, the Crusaders took control of the match midway through the first half and never looked back.
While the Western Force tried to match the Crusaders’ energy and execution, the champions were just too good – way too good. Here’s how the Crusaders rated.
- Will Jordan – 8.5/10
When Michael announced his return to the Chicago Bulls and NBA in 1995, he famously said “I’m back” in a statement. The NBA was on notice – one of the games most exciting talents had returned. Well, All Black Will Jordan didn’t need a statement, but shared a very similar message with his performance on Saturday.
Having missed the All Blacks’ end-of-season tour with an inner-ear issue, the outside back was also ruled out of the opening 10 rounds of the Crusaders’ season. But back at fullback this week, Jordan didn’t look out of place – in fact, he was quite brilliant.
Welcome back Will Jordan! 👏
Jordan sets up Leicester Fainga’anuku for this @crusadersrugby try 💪#CRUvFOR #SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/BMaeJr5XYJ
— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) May 6, 2023
Jordan set up Leicester Fainga’anuku for two tries, and also ran for a staggering 137 metres from nine carries. Again, Will Jordan didn’t need a statement, instead his performance did the talking – he’s back.
- Macca Springer – 8
It was a great night to be a Crusaders. Without giving too much away in terms of Leicester Fainga’anuku’s performance, both players nailed their jobs on the edges for the champion team.
Springer didn’t really put a foot wrong against the Force. Not only did he cross for an impressive double, but Springer also showcased his speed and athleticism with his 11 carries – running for an incredible 65 meters. In a team full of superstars, Macca Springer was among the standouts on Saturday.
- Braydon Ennor – 6.5
For All Black Braydon Ennor, Saturday night’s match wasn’t his best performance in a Crusaders jersey. Ennor had an uncharacteristically quiet night, which saw him run the ball just two times.
- David Havili – 8
David Havili really is ‘Mr Reliable’ for the Crusaders – while I’ve never heard anyone actually call him that, the nickname or label appears fitting. Not only does the All Blacks utility kick well around the park, but leadership truly is an unmeasurable asset – what he brings to the team is crucial. Havili also ran the ball with purpose and intent, and proved to be a solid defender as well.
- Leicester Fainga’anuku – 8.5
Leicester Fainga’anuku had himself a game against the Force. Thanks to some Will Jordan brilliance, the All Black crossed for his eighth and ninth tries of the season – scoring a brace with one try in each half.
Fainga’anuku did plenty of work on his own though. The winger ran the ball 14 times for 75 metres, and beat two defenders as well. For a winger, this was a pretty solid performance from Leicester Fainga’anuku.
- Richie Mo’unga – 7.5
It wasn’t a perfect night for Richie Mo’unga against the Force, but it was far from a poor display. Mo’unga may have missed a couple of kicks, but he still finished with an eight-point haul – and a try assist as well.
- Noah Hotham – 8
In a rare start for the Crusaders, rising star Noah Hotham looked cool, calm and collected in the No. 9 jersey. Hotham led the Crusaders around with both skill and poise, and showcased glimpses of his brilliant attacking and kicking games.
Hotham completed 48 passes, ran for almost 40 metres, and completed 100 per cent of his tackle attempts from seven attempts. At just 19 years of age, Hotham played well beyond his years –and did so alongside a team of world-class talent.
- Joe Moody – 6.5
The Crusaders’ effort at the set-piece – which was dominant for parts of the match – laid the platform for the backs to do their thing. The front-row contingent of Moody, McAlister and Williams all deserve praise for their efforts at the scrum.
But around the grounds, the All Black was kept relatively quiet. While Moody has never been judged on his ability to break the game open with the ball, it was still relatively surprising to only see him run the ball once. Moody was better on the defensive side of the ball, though, having made all eight of his tackle attempts.
- Brodie McAlister – 9
Brodie McAlister will remember this round 11 clash forever. After scoring a first half double, the Crusaders hooker completed his hat-trick with a try just after the break. McAlister was also perfect at the lineout, having hit all of his targets against the Force.
McAlister with a hat-trick for the @crusadersrugby! 🤩#CRUvFOR #SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/JqPT2KSCva
— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) May 6, 2023
Getting the nod to start ahead of All Black Codie Taylor this week, McAlister certainly made the most of his opportunity. McAlister also got stuck in on attack, and completed 100 per cent of his tackle attempts on the defensive side of the ball.
- Tamaiti Williams – 6
In many ways, Tamaiti Williams has enjoyed a career-best campaign with the champion Crusaders – but the tighthead prop was kept relatively quiet against the Force. While Williams held his own at the set-piece, he struggled to make an impact around the ground.
- Scott Barrett – 7
Captain Scott Barrett led by example against the Western Force. As he does every week, the All Black worked tirelessly around the park in pursuit of victory. Following a solid performance in the famous red jersey – which saw him make all of his tackle attempts – Barrett received a standing ovation as he walked off the field at Orangetheory Stadium.
- Quinten Strange – 8
There was nothing Strange about Quinten’s performance on Saturday, in fact he was quite brilliant. Without relying on anymore cheesy puns, let’s take a look the Crusaders lock’s performance. Going off the stats alone, it’s clear, Strange had quite the night.
Strange ran the ball 10 time and also made the same number of tackles. As for his work at the set-piece, Strange was brilliant – even winning a lineout against the throw in the 29th minute.
- Dominic Gardiner – 7
Flanker Dominic Gardiner went missing a little bit against the Force, but certainly had moments of brilliance and class. Gardiner ran for 30 metres on the night, and also finished with eight tackles to his name.
- Tom Christie – 7
Each and every week, Tom Christie proves himself to be one of the hardest working players at the champion Crusaders – if not the hardest. Once again, Christie was a man on a mission in round 11, especially in defence. Christie made the equal-most tackles out of any Crusaders forward with 10, and also got stuck in on attack.
- Cullen Grace – 8
This is one of the best performances I’ve seen from Cullen Grace in a while, if not ever. Certainly in terms of his work rate, you can’t ask for much more. Grace ran the ball a staggering 18 times for 62 metres, made one line break, and also beat two defenders. While his defensive performance wasn’t quite as eye-catching, make no mistake, Grace certainly made his mark.
- Codie Taylor – 7.5
- Finlay Brewis – 6
- Oli Jager – 6
- Zach Gallagher – 6.5
- Christian Lio-Willie – 7
- Mitchell Drummond – 7
- Fergus Burke – 6
- Chay Fihaki – 6
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Great read. Top player, even better man.Go to comments
So I’m assuming England centrally contract the women as there’s no money in the women’s game? Time they did the same in the men’sGo to comments