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Quiet first start for Carter as Crusaders win

Date

David Legge

LIONS 13 CRUSADERS 23

Israel Dagg of the Crusaders.

Israel Dagg of the Crusaders. Photo: AFP

JOHANNESBURG: All Blacks star Dan Carter had a quiet first start of the season for the Crusaders as they took control in the second half to defeat the Lions 23-13 in the Super Rugby on Saturday.

MATCH STATS

The best fly-half in the world ceded the place-kicking duties to inside centre Tom Taylor, who succeeded with five of six shots at goal before a small Ellis Park crowd given the seven-time champions were in town.

Zac Guildford of the Crusaders avoids a tackle.

Zac Guildford of the Crusaders avoids a tackle. Photo: AFP

But Carter, sidelined by a groin injury during the triumphant march of New Zealand to the World Cup title at home last October, played a role in both Crusaders tries.

As the visitors menacingly moved the ball wide on 31 minutes, Carter reversed the flow with an inside pass to left wing Zac Guildford, who caught the Lions defence napping as he sprinted over for a try.

Taylor converted to give Canterbury an undeserved 10-6 lead as the Lions had been the dominant force and they finally made advantages in territory and possession tell when prop Patric Cilliers dived over for a try.

Dan Carter started his first match since the Rugby World Cup.

Dan Carter started his first match since the Rugby World Cup. Photo: AP

Fly-half Butch James added the extra points for a 13-10 half-time lead the Lions lost three minutes after the break when Carter was involved in a handling move that ended with Sean Maitland racing on to a grubber kick and scoring.

Taylor converted again and added two penalty goals, while James was well off target with a stoppage-time penalty attempt that he needed to score from to give the Lions the bonus point that their perspiration warranted.

Carter, who came off the bench in a victory over South African visitors Central Cheetahs in Christchurch last weekend, quit unharmed on the hour mark, with Ryan Crotty taking his place.

Another All Blacks icon, injured captain and flank Richie McCaw, has yet to play this season, but in his absence, the likes of man of the match Kieran Read and fellow back-row forward George Whitelock impressed.

"It was a really hard game and we had to dig deep in the second half to gain the ascendancy," admitted a smiling but breathless skipper Read, after a match staged 1,800 metres above sea level.

"We got close but not close enough," confessed Lions captain and flank Josh Strauss. "After a good first half we let ourselves down in the early stages of the second half."

Taylor kicked three penalties and two conversions for the visitors, who were winning for the third time in five outings, while James kicked two penalties and a conversion for a Lions team suffering their fourth consecutive loss.

CRUSADERS 23 (Zac Guildford, Sean Maitland tries Tom Taylor 2 cons 3 pens) bt LIONS 13 (Patric Cilliers try Butch James con 2 pens) at Ellis Park. Referee: Jonathan Kaplan.

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
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
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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