KSA Shark ©

Crusaders weather Force storm

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Super 14 on 9 Mar 2008 at 13:30
Tagged with : ,

The Crusaders weathered a Western Force storm to maintain their unbeaten start to the Super 14 season, fighting back from a two try deficit to eventually win 29-24 in Perth.

In a match laden with free running, the Force scored four tries but were unable to keep out the Crusaders at the other end, conceding five – including the killer blow to Casey Laulala with 10 minutes to go.

Tim Clarke writes on Foxsports that while honours were even between five-eighth superstars Matt Giteau and Dan Carter – despite the Kiwi’s wayward kicking – the experience of Robbie Dean’s contenders eventually overcame the spirit of John Mitchell’s pretenders.

With both sides still with memories of their 23-23 draw at Subiaco two years ago, there was as much drama on show again, with the Force blasting out to a 12-point lead with 25 minutes to go.

But that was gobbled up within two minutes by tries to Ali Williams and Andy Ellis.

The Crusaders pack then chewed up time and possession and found the game-breaker by running back a wayward Giteau kick to put Laulala over.

The Force started in dominant fashion, apparently relishing the comforts of home after three weeks on the road, and Ryan Cross was immediately influential in the midfield.

Ten minutes of almost exclusive territorial advantage ended with a blindside move to send David Pocock over in the corner.

Immediately Carter responded, turning his first real possession into points by slipping Giteau’s tackle to canter under the posts.

And when Greg Somerville – nicknamed Yoda – used his force to bundle over, the Crusaders had wrestled control back to lead 12-5.

Cross though, was not done setting up more field position before taking Giteau’s pop pass to level the scores.

With turnovers starting to pop up on the blue side – one of them was ruthlessly exploited, with Scott Staniforth’s over the shoulder pass to Cross eventually leading to a Richard Brown score.

More turnovers ball almost gave the Force a fourth try before half time, with interplay between Scott Fava and Cam Shepherd halted by referee Willie Roos’ call for a forward pass.

But the five-point half time lead did become 12 when Drew Mitchell’s intercept set up Shepherd to put Lachie MacKay into space.

His sidestep fooled everyone, putting the former Waratah over for a emotional score after two years dogged by injury.

But the multiple champions showed all that class by demolishing the leads in a devastating three minute spell.

First a quick tap from the monstrous Williams saw him powered over and then, with the Force defence ragged, Mose Tuiali’i's touchline run fed Ellis inside.

With the scores level but Crusaders on top, Giteau’s clearance from behind his own goal line only fed the visitors numbers, and Steve Brett’s fingertip tap to free Laulala turned out to be the defining moment.


  • darnit! Really hoped the Force could hold out.

    Saders are also beatable, though… that’s for sure.

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.03.08 14:19:18 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Ghost site! :-)

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.03.08 16:20:49 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • 2 very good sides. That one Force try must be try of the season so far.

    Man, Pocock, the number 7 flanker for the Force is good…and still only 19. Gonna be a superstar.
    Also impressed with Ryan Cross.

    Not many teams will go to Perth and win!

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.03.08 17:12:15 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
    VillieCurrie Cup player
  • Was shocked when I saw they had given Willie Roos this game…but from what I saw he actually did a decent job!

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.03.08 17:13:01 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
    VillieCurrie Cup player
  • Villie

    Yip he didn’t have a bad game, a little lenient on the tackler not rolling away, but reasonable game other than that.

  • Comment 5, posted at 09.03.08 18:07:07 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • Cross was bloody good against the Lions as well. Seems to be getting better each week

  • Comment 6, posted at 09.03.08 19:34:18 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Yep Rob and it was against the Crusaders…so a good way to impress the Aussie coach!! :grin:

  • Comment 7, posted at 09.03.08 21:47:33 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
    VillieCurrie Cup player
  • he he… yeah, with Stirling on the perennial injury list, Deans is going to be looking for a good 13.

  • Comment 8, posted at 09.03.08 22:22:29 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Poor Crusaders.

    Every Aus team playing against them is going to lift it’s game that little bit higher in an effort to impress the Aus coach. :wink:

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.03.08 06:47:18 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • And what a game it was.

    More of the same please!

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.03.08 07:50:38 by Dawn Reply

    DawnUnder 19 player
  • Dawn

    I went home for the game and boy am I glad I did. One of the best I’ve seen this season.

    AND WHO REFFED IT?????????

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.03.08 07:56:13 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • Brilliant game!

    Well done Roosie!

    Seems like the ELVS went out the window with this game. Hardly had an effect!

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.03.08 07:59:20 by Dawn Reply

    DawnUnder 19 player
  • Saders sitting on 3 from 3 outside NZ so far. Going to be tough to beat these guys.

    Playing the Cheetahs this weekend.

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.03.08 08:01:08 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • And what about the eye candy.

    Say no more.

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.03.08 08:01:23 by Dawn Reply

    DawnUnder 19 player
  • Dawn

    So when can we expect to see your pick changed to Ryan Cross? :wink:

  • Comment 15, posted at 10.03.08 08:02:13 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • Was seriously contemplating that … but will stick with Pointrenaud for the time being.

    He does bear resemblance to Bergamasco brothers though.

    I mean what’s a girl to do! So many players, so little time!

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.03.08 08:05:52 by Dawn Reply

    DawnUnder 19 player
  • Now if only rob could have a program written that automaticaaly cycled your pic everytime you posted hey :wink:

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.03.08 08:07:32 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach

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