The Chiefs hosted the Crusaders today in their final 2020 home game. The Crusaders won the game with the Chiefs guilty of not scoring at every opportunity while the Crusaders did exactly that. The Crusaders deserved the win (32-19) after a workmanlike last 20 minutes.
The Chiefs started the game like a house on fire but it was the Crusaders to strike first after only six minutes with a forty meter run by Tom Sanders to score his try in the corner. The Crusaders scored their second try ten minutes later, while the Chiefs is losing any grip they had on the game. With 20 minutes gone on the stadium clock, it was the Crusaders in the lead with 12-0.
Two minutes into the second quarter the Chiefs scored their first try to narrow the gap to 12-7 with the Crusaders still in the lead. This revived the Chiefs who converted a penalty two minutes later. The latter part of the first half was an arm wrestle between to good sides that ended in try after the Crusaders mauled fifteen meters to lead 17-10 at the end of the first half.
A high quality, highly entertaining first half came to an end at FMG Stadium Waikato. The Crusaders opened the scoring with two quick tries, however, to the Chiefs credit, they wrestled back the momentum and responded with a couple of their scores of their own. However, they have their work cut out for them with the Crusaders striking again right on half time.
The second half the Chiefs came out swinging and scored an early penalty to narrow the lead of the Crusaders to 17-13. A second penalty by the Chiefs with ten minutes to go in the third quarter cut the lead of the Crusaders to just one point. A converted penalty each had the score at 20-19 for the Crusaders after sixty minutes of play.
A try by Sevu Reece extended the lead of the Crusaders to 27-19 with nineteen minutes to play. A second try in the second half most probably sealed a win for the Crusaders. The last ten minutes of the game saw the Chiefs throw everything at the Crusaders in a futile attempt to score their first win of the season.
The Chiefs will play the Hurricanes next weekend while the Crusaders play the Highlanders.
Crusaders: Tries: Tom Sanders, Will Jordan, Codie Taylor, Sevu Reece, Leicester Fainga'anuku. Conversions: Richie Mo'unga (2). Penalty: Richie Mo'unga.
Chiefs: Try: Lachlan Boshier. Conversion: Damian McKenzie. Penalties: Damian McKenzie (4).
Chiefs: 1. Reuben O’Neill, 2. Bradley Slater, 3. Nepo Laulala, 4. Tupou Vaa’i, 5. Mitchell Brown, 6. Lachlan Boshier, 7. Sam Cane (C), 8. Pita Gus Sowakula, 9. Brad Weber, 10. Aaron Cruden, 11. Sean Wainui, 12. Alex Nankivell, 13. Anton Lienert-Brown, 14. Shaun Stevenson, 15. Damian McKenzie. Replacements: 16. Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17. Ollie Norris, 18. Angus Ta’avao, 19. Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20. Simon Parker, 21. Lisati Milo-Harris, 22. Kaleb Trask, 23. Quinn Tupaea.
Crusaders: 1. George Bower, 2. Codie Taylor (C), 3. Michael Alaalatoa, 4. Samuel Whitelock (VC), 5. Mitchell Dunshea, 6. Sione Havili, 7. Tom Christie, 8. Tom Sanders, 9. Mitchell Drummond, 10. Richie Mo'unga, 11. George Bridge, 12. Jack Goodhue (VC), 13. Fetuli Paea, 14. Sevu Reece, 15. Will Jordan. Replacements: 16. Andrew Makalio, 17. Isileli Tu'ungafasi, 18. Oliver Jager, 19. Quinten Strange, 20. Billy Harmon, 21. Bryn Hall, 22. Brett Cameron, 23. Leicester Fainga'anuku.