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Crusaders player ratings vs Hurricanes | Super Rugby Pacific

By Mike Rehu
(Photo by Masanori Udagawa/Getty Images)

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The Crusaders were hoping to repeat their high scoring 42-32 Forsyth Barr victory over the Hurricanes in February and there were changes enforced on each team before kick off; Pablo Matera cried off for the Southerners and TJ Perenara and Asafo Aumua were replaced for the Hurricanes.

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Apart from a three minute scrum quagmire after 20 minutes it was a fast flowing match. Strangely after five tries in the first spell there was no scoring in the last 35 minutes of the encounter, but it didn’t diminish the compelling battle that unfolded. The Crusaders were under the cosh in the last minutes but hung on to the win 24-21.

While the Hurricane’s experienced players stepped up and led from the front, the Crusaders have such a strong roster, a steady performance across the paddock saw them home.

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Here’re the Crusaders ratings:

1. Joe Moody – 7

After the Ian Foster’s pointed comments this week, the pressure on props like Moody is palpable. He’s bear-like strong and you can tell at some stages he was trying to show some footwork but it might be tough for him to get through to France. Solid scrum though. Off at 53.

2. Codie Taylor – 7

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Taylor’s set piece was very solid, as you’d expect from an international rake. Had some good moments with some inroads early in midfield and then some hard yards in lead up to the Bridge try. Tackled like a demon as well with 12. Off at 66.

3. Fletcher Newell – 7.5

The Rangiora rock showed yet again with his squat physique he’s tailor-made for tighthead prop play. The scrum was THE area where the Crusaders had an early advantage and kudos should go to the number 3. Received attention a number of times and then off at halftime.

4. Scott Barrett © – 7

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He’s really concentrating on making a difference in the tight but I miss the Super Rugby Scooter we used to see in his early days. Spent a lot of time marking up on his bro who was eating metres in mid-field. Somehow managed to lodge his body in the last breakdown of the game where he couldn’t be penalised to deny the Canes the win.

5. Quinten Strange – 7

Good ball skills on the right flank with a nice pass or two then a neat step in the 26th minute for his 3rd try in Super Rugby. Looked like a popped calf will slow him down for a while.

6. Ethan Blackadder – 8.5

Team high carries and tackles, two turnovers, no missed tackles, yep, that’s Blackadder for you. Relentess and brave, what a player! Considering he was marked down to play at 7, to be able to adjust and come up with a consummate performance was brilliant from the ultimate team man.

7. Tom Christie – 8

Not far behind his flanker mate as player of the match. A text book turnover in the 8th minute that led to his team’s first try. When Hurricanes surged at the end of the match, he constantly tracked back and proved to be a real thorn in the side of the home team. It was heart-warming to see him feature towards the end of the game with ball in hand down the left flank. It shows the selectors that he’s not just a one-dimensional tackling machine and is definitely worthy of higher honours.

8. Cullen Grace – 7.5

The Timaru tornado is certainly back to his form levels of two years ago. A perfect example of a player who “pins his ears back”; loves a gallop but doesn’t shirk in the tight. A lovely piece of linking for Jordan’s try in 9th minute but would have had his heart in his mouth after being penalised at 81 minutes. Why didn’t the Canes go for the shot? Weird…..

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9. Mitchell Drummond – 3.5

An average outing for the halfback. Behind a dominant pack he struggled especially with the boot. His clearing box kick put all his hard-working forwards offside and the penalty led to Moorby’s try. A few minutes later his deliberate knock on gave the Canes the halftime lead and another gaff early in the second half saw him replaced at 52 minutes.

10. Richie Mo’unga – 6

The Canes had read the Richie play book and Proctor rushed up to limit the magic he could weave from deep. A delightful flighted pass for the Bridge try but it wasn’t a memorable day for the star.

11. George Bridge – 3

Bridge seems to have lost his confidence and moxy. It was a clever finish in the 35th minute but was barely sighted other than that. Was bounced off the roo bars of Julian Savea and moments later a huge error unpressured inside his 22. His replacement immediately made a difference and surely it’s a long road back for Bridge to the Crusaders starting line-up let alone the All Blacks.

12. David Havili – 6

It was a flash back to some of Havili’s test matches last year where one of the country’s most talented backs was out-muscled in the midfield by his opponent. His micro-skills, nous and tackle count are undeniable but he was definitely over-shadowed by Jordie.

13. Braydon Ennor – 8

A physical chess piece in high traffic area and has impressed this season with his defensive reads. A brutish run in the 26th minute for the Strange try and 12 dominating tackles and some great strips as well.

14. Sevu Reece – 7.5

The wing was lucky not be yellow carded in the 43rd minute where he killed the Hurricanes ball in the red zone. A good whizz down the right flank in the middle of the second half to ignite a Crusaders attack and generally busy.

15. Will Jordan – 8

Two things played out in this match with an eye to the next World Cup; firstly Jordie is making a great fist of 12 which perhaps means Will Jordan can spend some time at fullback dressed in black. Fanciful at the moment but the seeds are there. Showed speed and elusiveness and gets crowds on their feet with his other-worldly skills.

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Reserves

16. Ricky Jackson – 5.5

On at 66 and made a pretty good fist of it, little black mark for dropping a maul ball that denied Christie a try.

17. George Bower – 4

Subs are meant to make a difference but Bower de-powered the scrum and gave away two penalties to put pressure on his team.

18. Tamaiti Williams – 6.5

On at halftime and a tireless shift from the rangatira (chief) in waiting. Strong turnover at 44 and then huge charge in the lead up to Blackadder’s try. Only negative was being beaten by Booth in defence but it’s hard to turn on a dime when you’re the size of a concrete truck!

19. Zach Gallagher – 5.5

On at 56, highlight was a lineout steal in the 74th minute.

20. Corey Kellow – N/A

21. Bryn Hall – 6

On at 52 and fluffed his first kick from hand a la Drummond, I’m sure the forwards were chuffed! Got back into his work well though.

22. Fergus Burke – N/A

23. Leicester Fainga’anuku – 7

On at 52 and immediately made a difference with power and confidence. Was very lucky not to be penalised at the breakdown right in front of the posts which definitely would have brought on extra time.

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