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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 World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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