26th May 01:59 PM
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Crusaders edge Chiefs to keep win streak alive
By Rusiate Baleilevuka
Saturday 20/05/2017

The Crusaders have passed possibly their toughest test of the season and in doing so have overturned the recent dominance by the Chiefs with a 31-24 victory, extending their unbeaten run to 12 matches this season in a brutal match in Suva last night.

The intensity was on a different level, and so was the casualty rate, with three players failing concussion tests.

The Chiefs went into this match having won the last four matches between the sides, and while the collisions were, as expected, fierce and without mercy, the skill level was high as well.

In the end the Crusaders had their defence to thank for their win, but also No10 Richie Mo'unga, the 22 year old growing in stature throughout and playing a crucial role in terms of leading the red and black attack.

The Crusaders had the early dominance in terms of possession, territory and the scoreboard through two Mo'unga penalties, but the Chiefs, beaten only once before this match, hit back as they invariably do, this time through Tim Nanai Williams and James Lowe.

The Chiefs, hosting this match in Suva rather than Hamilton or New Plymouth, took the halftime lead 17 13, but the Crusaders team under coach Scott Robertson have proven time and again that they thrive in the second half through their superior fitness and composure, and so it proved again.

Robertson says there are areas that need to be improved but was happy for the team.

Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett says they knew the pressure was on the Chiefs in the last two minutes.

Meanwhile Chiefs captain Sam Kane says basic errors and poor execution let them down.

Kane says the atmosphere at the ANZ Stadium was electrifying.

In other results, the Stormers beat the Blues 30-22 this morning.

Tonight, the Hurricanes will take on the Cheetahs at 7.35pm, the Force will face the Highlanders at 9.45pm while the Sunwolves will host the Sharks at 11.55pm.

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