JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Smith double inspires Hurricanes to victory

Date

Richard Knowler

Crusaders 22 Hurricanes 23

In safe hands ... Conrad Smith is all smiles after his inspired performance helped topple the Crusaders.

In safe hands ... Conrad Smith is all smiles after his inspired performance helped topple the Crusaders. Photo: Getty Images

Some Conrad Smith magic and Beauden Barrett's icy disposition have ensured the Hurricanes' Super Rugby play-off hopes have a heartbeat.

MATCH STATS

Last night the Hurricanes calmly held on to stun the Crusaders 23-22 at AMI Stadium despite their scrum being embarrassed and being unable to add to Smith's two first-half tries.

Runaway try ...  Zac Guildford scoots between the Hurricanes defence to score for the Crusaders.

Runaway try ... Zac Guildford scoots between the Hurricanes defence to score for the Crusaders. Photo: Getty Images

The Crusaders had a late chance to win the match when replacement back Tyler Bleyendaal attempted an angled penalty from 50m but it fell short and the Hurricanes celebrated wildly in the realisation they still have a chance to win their first title.

A loss would have been devastating to their chances. Now they will enter next week's bye to prepare to face the Chiefs in the final round.

The Crusaders, who will rue the not kicking more intelligently for field position in the first half, are unlikely to top the New Zealand conference; with two rounds remaining the Chiefs look set to secure that precious space.

The seven-time champions Crusaders are no certainty to qualify as they prepare for their final games against the Chiefs and the Force.

The Hurricanes had done their homework at the breakdown and they were remorseless in this facet, especially in the first half. With the Crusaders forwards lax around the ruck the visitors ensured the pill was often scrappy for Andy Ellis and were also helped by the hosts making a clutch of uncharacteristic handling errors.

It was bitterly cold, too, and it seemed referee Bryce Lawrence was concerned about his the pea in his whistle freezing as he hammered both sides with penalties. Within 15 minutes he had dished out six. But Hurricanes' rake Dane Coles couldn't blame Lawrence for his three consecutive lineout throws in the first spell and as the crowd revelled in his misfortune he had to have been tempted to reverse his throws into selected targets in the stand.

The Crusaders, who had loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett, 29, celebrating his 100th Super outing, repeatedly destroyed the 'Canes set-piece with their props on both side of the scrum pinged for dragging it to the ground. Turning around a point down the Crusaders had coach Todd Blackadder's instructions to temper their ball-carrying exuberance and kick more intelligently.

Neither side was able to score a try in the second half as the match reverted to a grind that was often interrupted by Lawrence's adjudications. First blood was drawn by 'Canes skipper Smith and it came with a dollop of controversy as Crusaders' playmaker Tom Taylor protested Julian Savea had run interference as the midfielder dotted down.

There were no histrionics following Smith's second effort late in the first half, though. The classy All Blacks centre executed a crisp dummy down the short side and shot through Sean Maitland's tackle to ensure Barrett's conversion gave his lot a 17-16 halftime lead.

The best try of the evening was scored by Crusaders wing Zac Guildford minutes earlier when he emphasised just how cruel he can be when his confidence is high and charitable defences inexplicably offer him space.

A quick pass by Ryan Crotty allowed Guildford enough time to gas between Barrett and Faifili Levave 65m out, and as he angled towards the line he beat Andre Taylor with ease before a swan dive that looked more dangerous to his own health than spectacular.

The Crusaders will rue the absence of injured All Blacks Dan Carter, Kieran Read and Israel Dagg but it was their inability to abstain from conceding penalties and to maintain momentum that proved so costly.

HURRICANES 23 (Conrad Smith 2 tries Beauden Barrett 2 cons 3 pens) bt CRUSADERS 22 (Zac Guildford try Tom Taylor con 5 pens) at Christchurch Stadium. Referee: Bryce Lawrence.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG -1vs FJI -1 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 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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
 

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers