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Dagg try a homecoming present for Crusaders

Date

CRUSADERS 28 CHEETAHS 21

Back from injury ... Dan Carter of the Crusaders played his first game since injuring his groin during the World Cup.

Back from injury ... Dan Carter of the Crusaders played his first game since injuring his groin during the World Cup. Photo: Getty Images

The Crusaders celebrated their first home game in 22 months by snatching a late 28-21 win over the Cheetahs at Christchurch Stadium on Saturday.

MATCH STATS

 

Israel Dagg of the Crusaders runs in to score the match-winning try.

Israel Dagg of the Crusaders runs in to score the match-winning try. Photo: Getty Images

In an emotional home-coming before a sellout crowd of 17,500, the Crusaders outscored the Cheetahs three tries to two to open their new fortress with only their second win of the season from four outings.

It was not champagne rugby and the Cheetahs cut down the Crusaders 15-point lead early in the second half to be on level terms at 21-21 with 10 minutes remaining.

But as the clock counted down the Crusaders moved up a gear and Andy Ellis and Tom Taylor both went within a whisker of scoring before Israel Dagg crossed for the match-winning try.

Captain Kieran Read was happy to end a two-match run of defeats but was disappointed the game went down to the wire after the Crusaders led 18-3 soon after halftime.

"We got off to good start at the start of the second half but we let the foot off the throat in a few key areas. We thought it would come a bit too easy so we needed to look after the ball a bit more," he said.

A critical factor for the Crusaders was the pack with an All Blacks front row of hooker Corey Flynn and props Owen and Ben Franks who gave the Cheetahs a torrid time in the scrums.

It was from a scrum penalty just before half-time that led to the first try in the new stadium when Sean Maitland scored in the corner.

Until then it had been an uninspiring encounter with two penalties to Taylor and one by Johan Goosen the only points on the board.

But Maitland's try lifted the intensity of the game with the Crusaders going into halftime with an 11-3 lead which was extended to 18-3 immediately after the break when All Blacks star Carter entered the fray.

With his first touch of the ball in a game since being injured out of the World Cup six months ago, Carter neatly put Robbie Fruean into a gap and the big centre scored near the posts.

Taylor converted and with their tails up the Crusaders immediately stormed deep into Cheetahs' territory only to cede control to the South Africans.

From turnover ball on their own line the Cheetahs swept the length of the field with Goosen, Andries Strauss and Willie le Roux all featuring in the move before Goosen entered the frame for a second time to score in the corner.

Another exchange of penalties between Goosen and Taylor had the Crusaders leading 21-11 when the Cheetahs were rewarded for a patient build up with a try by Robert Ebersohn.

Goosen missed the conversion but evened the score with his third penalty forcing the Crusaders to lift their game in the closing stages.

They mounted a wave of forward drives up to the Cheetahs line, drawing in the defence before Ellis sent the ball wide for Dagg to cross unopposed for the match-winning try.

CRUSADERS 28 (Israel Dagg, Robert Fruean, Sean Maitland tries Tom Taylor 2 cons 3 pens) bt CHEETAHS 21 (Robert Ebersohn, Johan Goosen tries Goosen con 3 pens) at Christchurch Stadium. Referee: Keith Brown.

AFP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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