Crusaders wing Manasa Mataele delivered the definition of a tightrope act during his side’s convincing 38-22 victory over the Hurricanes on Saturday night.
After finding some space down the right wing and bumping off Hurricanes loose forward Gareth Evans, the 22-year-old lost his footing in a Finlay Christie tackle before blindly flicking a ball to a charging Richie Mo’unga, who exploded through a hole and raced away for the Crusaders’ second try of the night.
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Mataele’s Hurricanes opposite Ben Lam looks visibly stunned as he waits for a reaction from the referee, who rules Mataele was still in play.
The showcase of balance and body control in the set up is truly impressive and the assist should be remembered as one of 2019’s best.
Mataele!!! How the hell did he throw that pass? #CRUvHUR
— Scotty Stevenson (@sumostevenson) February 23, 2019
Unfortunately, Mataele came off injured in the second half and was unable to leave the field under his own power after suffering what is assumed to be a serious knee injury.
“We have to have a scan on it but it didn’t look great. So he’s straight to hospital,” head coach Scott Robertson said post-match.
The Crusaders would score three more tries before the visiting Hurricanes got on the board as they marched to a record 17th consecutive victory.
The back-to-back champions continue their quest for another three-peat when they meet a tough Reds outfit in Brisbane next week.
Rugby World Cup City Guides – Oita:
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