Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Crusaders show their class at Twickenham - Israel Dagg try

The Crusaders turned it on in the Twickenham sunshine earlier today as their dazzling backs and powerful front five proved too strong for a determined Sharks team. The Christchurch side won 44-28 despite a Sharks comeback.

It was the first ever Super Rugby game outside of the Tri Nations countries and while it was a great spectacle and a wonderful match, it was forced through a natural disaster that has left Christchurch in the unenviable position of having to rebuild from the ground up.

As with all sport though, it has the power to change and while only a little over 35 000 people turned out at the home of rugby in London, money will have been raised, as well as the profile of not only Super Rugby, but the cause at hand.

The first half of the game was all about the sheer class of flyhalf Dan Carter, who ran the ship in a way only he knows how, providing the platform for league convert Sonny Bill Williams to release their dangerous backs. Their scrum was also impressive, as they pushed a Springbok front row in a manner that not many would have predicted.

While the Sharks sorely missed their chief playmaker in Patrick Lambie, the might of the Crusaders would have no doubt blow any side off the park, so the way in which the Sharks came back in the second half should also be commended.

At the end of the day though, this Crusaders side is something special, with running lines like no other, talent to burn, and as they showed the fans at Twickenham, on their day they can be unstoppable. The Sharks did look to get the better of the sub-exchanges later on, and Todd Blackadder and his team will be a little concerned at some of the injuries they picked up.

All in all, it was a brilliant spectacle, a wonderful advert for Super Rugby, and one of the more memorable games of rugby you're likely to see this season. Below is just one of the tries, as the game ended literally half an hour ago, but further highlights will be posted soon.

Time: 01:33



  • Brilliant game of rugby

    By Anonymous SBW, at March 27, 2011 7:40 pm  

  • Second

    By Blogger aaron3340, at March 27, 2011 7:41 pm  

  • These guys really produce a superb style of rugby. I was wondering about the refereeing of the breakdown - seemed to be a lot of sealing off going on - but the game was a fantastic spectacle.

    By Anonymous Mike, at March 27, 2011 7:48 pm  

  • anyone know where I can watch actual highlights of this or maybe the full game??

    By Anonymous Dan, at March 27, 2011 7:54 pm  

  • @ dan, if you read what's written above, you'll note that actual highlights will be posted soon.

    By Anonymous Greiffel, at March 27, 2011 8:19 pm  

  • Brilliant try!!!!

    How was the mood in Twickenham? The first level looks fully packed but no sold out it seems? Too expensive?

    Anyway, good to see great rugby in the NH.

    By Anonymous Flipje, at March 27, 2011 8:26 pm  

  • I watched it! wow wat a good game, and i love to see this style of play/tactic... throwing the ball about, and little forward crash ball blah, making like less than a meter.

    It an eye opener, how rugby can be played in the NH, and this is comnig form an Englishman!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 27, 2011 8:37 pm  

  • Great rugby. Nice to see the Leinster esque loop around being used by other teams, not that they invented it.

    Running rugby at its best - Shame more people didnt go to it. Then again i only found out about it today, late advertising on short notice i guess.

    By Anonymous BB, at March 27, 2011 8:40 pm  

  • i hate sky sports and them 2 spastics

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 27, 2011 8:41 pm  

  • patheitc advertising from sky probably gave this spectacle less audience then it deserved, lovely brand of rugby.

    as for the try carter made it, stunning line and pass, much better then tigers produce. hopfully will inspire some young players

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 27, 2011 9:09 pm  

  • I think loads more people would have attended if there was any form of Marketing for it. I only heard about it on here, and all my rugby team had made other plpans by the time I got the message to them.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 27, 2011 9:15 pm  


    By Anonymous GTI, at March 27, 2011 10:10 pm  

  • Its capacity was capped to prevent transport problems in London, due to the other football, rugby and the protests that occurred there this weekend, so no chance of an 80,000!

    By Anonymous Crocks, at March 27, 2011 10:19 pm  

  • Crocks,

    wasnt it capped at 55,000 though. Still well below that.

    Shame really, although the advertising was pants!

    By Anonymous Nathan, at March 27, 2011 10:35 pm  

  • i was at twikkers and i have to say it was one of the best backs performances i have ever seen live. When SBW did his offload for the first try i was left totally speechless!

    By Anonymous cory, at March 27, 2011 10:41 pm  

  • it was really expensive, most tickets around £40 and cheapest like £30, when most club games are like £12 or so normally.

    Amazing game though.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 27, 2011 10:42 pm  

  • 35,000 doesn't sound too shabby to me........

    By Anonymous Von, at March 27, 2011 10:43 pm  

  • Awesome game, now there's no way SBW won't get an All Black 1st XV spot, he was all over the park ,as well as Maitland an Guilford... as I've said before, it's out of this world how a tiny country like NZ has so, so many great players to choose!

    Very good spectacle too, 35K looks fine to me... Let's keep it going!


    By Anonymous Juggernauter, at March 27, 2011 11:12 pm  

  • graham henry may as well just pick the crusaders team as the starting all black lineup

    By Anonymous Hugo, at March 27, 2011 11:32 pm  

  • It really comes down to how popular the sport is in that country.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 27, 2011 11:34 pm  

  • A brilliant game at a lovely sunny Twickenham. The atmosphere was great. Has anyone mentioned Sonny Bill yet? everything he touched in the first half turned to magic...

    By Anonymous Dave, at March 27, 2011 11:53 pm  

  • @londonscarlet - what club games do you go to?!

    By Blogger Matthew, at March 28, 2011 12:08 am  

  • That ball from Carter was beautiful. The man is just class. SBW the same, clearly the form #12 in Super Rugby. It's gonna be tough on Nonu, but Williams has earned the jersey, he's gotta be the first choice for the ABs.

    By Blogger Douglas, at March 28, 2011 12:19 am  

  • Try.of.the.year!!!

    By Blogger Alexander, at March 28, 2011 12:29 am  

  • One of many great tries the Crusaders have scored this season already.
    It's hard to go past them as favorites for the S15 title.
    Only the Stormers look capable of slowing them down at this point.
    What a backline they have.

    By Anonymous Jono, at March 28, 2011 12:34 am  

  • "Only the Stormers look capable of slowing them down at this point."

    Umm ok so that whole thing about the Blues already beating them this season and only sitting 2 points behind them on the log never happened?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 12:48 am  

  • haha, yeah actually very valid point.
    The Blues are playing some really good stuff too.
    So Blues/Saders/Stormers as top three teams at the moment?
    Can we agree on that?

    By Anonymous Jono, at March 28, 2011 12:55 am  

  • I agree with jono. Yes the blues have already beaten the crusaders (in round 1 when they werent clicking like they are now)

    But the stormers rock solid defence and ability to choke teams out of the game looks most like to stop this rampant crusaders team.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 1:02 am  

  • we want the tim visser try vs ospreys!!
    he smoked the irish winger...

    By Blogger blogger, at March 28, 2011 1:02 am  

  • God I Hate the crusaders!!
    That was too good.
    "rugby to make you drool"

    Tahs fan.

    By Anonymous Mart, at March 28, 2011 1:30 am  

  • Beautiful handling by the big center Fruean....he should make ABs.

    By Anonymous Kanos, at March 28, 2011 1:55 am  

  • Hey RD, where's the Stormers highlights? Sunday's game wasn't the only try fest you know...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 1:57 am  

  • Hey pal, it's obviously you at 1:55 and 2:04.
    Why don't you stop trying to stir the pot, none of what you say makes any sense.
    Pull your head in.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 2:09 am  

  • To the Anon above...

    Get a life dude...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 3:07 am  

  • anon said.. I've always taken pity on a nation that so desperately tries to convince itself of its own importance.

    Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

    By Anonymous roy, at March 28, 2011 3:26 am  

  • Everyone ignore the guy causing trouble.
    He's just nuts, no need to encourage him.

    By Anonymous Jono, at March 28, 2011 3:29 am  

  • Agree with jono, just dont reply to those losers.

    Great game from the crusaders, very entertaining.

    By Anonymous Louis, at March 28, 2011 3:33 am  

  • This is the most fun I have had watching rugby in ages.

    There is something special about Twickenham (and I am South African), the Crusaders scored some breath taking tries, and the Sharks never gave up, almost making an awesome come back. I didn't want the game to end!

    I would love to see this as an annual event - the Crusaders against the Sharks, or Stormers or Bulls. Those games always tend to be pretty special.

    SBW is magic, although I imagine he will face a suspension due to that shoulder charge. Dan Carter also limped off, hopefully it isn't a long term injury. Alberts is a monster, and should be one of the first players selected for the Boks this year.

    By Anonymous Wolfman, at March 28, 2011 4:02 am  

  • Anyone else get annoyed at how much verbal sucking the one brit commentator was doing? A full 80 minutes of sucking Crusader dick.

    Lambie was injured, the kicks would have gone over had he played and the defense in the midfield would have been a lot better than with Potgieter there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 4:09 am  

  • someones clearly jealous..

    By Anonymous Hugo, at March 28, 2011 4:55 am  

  • To the anon crying about Patrick Lambie not starting, the same could be said if Richie McCaw started. How much turn over ball would the Crusaders have profited from?

    Useless "what if" comment. He never started. Good like next time

    By Blogger scripaz_blessin, at March 28, 2011 7:28 am  

  • anyone else on here notice the pathetic comments all seem to appear when a certain nation loses?

    By Anonymous Dan, at March 28, 2011 8:17 am  

  • The Crusaders weren't that good actually. Their back line was the only real strength they had and their scrum was quite strong. The second half showed how they really play, their defense isn't that good and if it wasn't for Carted and SBW making gaps in the backline, they would've lost that game to the Sharks. The gaps were really all they had to throw at the opposition, nothing more.

    As for the Sharks, keep John Smit off the field and only as a reserve. As soon as Beast came on, they wrecked havoc for the 'Saders. The 'Saders are lucky they could hold on till the game ended since there wasn't much time left. If it was played like that from the beginning, 'Saders would be crying right now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 9:26 am  

  • Good game of rugby. The Sharks lack a bit of star quality in their backs but I think if they had that, it would have been a far closer affair.

    Carter, Williams, Maitland etc are great ball players. Natural talents.

    Very enjoyable game of rugby.

    By Anonymous Benson, at March 28, 2011 9:33 am  

  • It was obvious from the commentary. We all knew they were going to be eating NZ pie, sharing NZ drinks and sucking up to NZ's Crusaders through the whole game. If Dan Carter is in the team, the commentary is with them and against any other team they're playing.

    Take SBW and Carter out for 1 game and let's see how 'Saders perform. They have no other strenghts but the backline. Forwards are sissies. Scrum was good until the second half which was like a turnaround as soon as Beast came on.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 9:33 am  

  • Shit selection from the Shark's coach, could have been a lot closer even with a NZ.. I mean "AUS" ref.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 9:39 am  

  • Great marketing move, the Sharks were so poor in that first half it made the game appear better than it was.

    I remember a week ago people were saying the game would attract 80,000 punters easily.....final attendance even with relatively cheap tickets, 30,000? I guess all those ex-pat barmen couldn't get the time off.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 10:07 am  

  • Awesome game, the Crusaders backline is insane and some of the hits going in were intense (RD see if you can get SBW taking out one of the Franks brothers, great tackle, wrong team).

    The Sharks didn't play badly, they got caught out with mismatches in defence quite often. The Beast had a great running game, but to say the scrum turned round when he came on isn't entirely true. Crusaders got a 10m shove and penalty in his second scrum.

    Although 35k isn't a huge attendence, you take into account that its only been on the cards for a fortnight and there hasn't been much advertising.

    By Anonymous Nick, at March 28, 2011 10:12 am  

  • Great ad for the SuperXV, the skills on show were sublime, and the pace of the game astonishing. If they can make this a regular feature of the season, I think they'd get at least 35k spectators every year.

    Be interesting to see if the citing commissioner refers Sonny Bill, the no-arms hit on Kankowski was not good.

    By Anonymous edbok, at March 28, 2011 10:14 am  

  • Anonymous said...
    I remember a week ago people were saying the game would attract 80,000 punters easily.....final attendance even with relatively cheap tickets, 30,000? I guess all those ex-pat barmen couldn't get the time off.

    Who said that? 80k is basically a sell-out, (total capacity 82k).

    A couple of weeks ago, all reports said that unfortunately the game couldn't be accommodated.

    To get a 35k crowd for a match that's had little or no publicity, featuring teams from thousands of miles away, seems pretty respectable to me.

    Especially when you consider that the RECORD* crowd for a Super Rugby match is 54,000 - 2007 final between the Bulls and Sharks, i.e. played in SA between two SA teams.

    * according to http://www.espnscrum.com/super-rugby-2011/rugby/story/137236.html anyway.

    By Anonymous Von, at March 28, 2011 10:46 am  

  • Cant believe the hate for the Crusaders now, love this comment too quote:

    "It was obvious from the commentary. We all knew they were going to be eating NZ pie, sharing NZ drinks and sucking up to NZ's Crusaders through the whole game. If Dan Carter is in the team, the commentary is with them and against any other team they're playing."

    So what? Did the commentary have any effect on the outcome? It would be worrying signs if it did. Besides it was a home game to the Crusaders anyway, and if it was the Sharkys home game the commentary would have been eating SA pie and sucking up to Bismarck Du Plessis no?

    "Take SBW and Carter out for 1 game and let's see how 'Saders perform. They have no other strenghts but the backline. Forwards are sissies. Scrum was good until the second half which was like a turnaround as soon as Beast came on."

    You are clearly ignorant and butt hurt at the fact the Crusaders won the match. Take them out and there is still Israel Dagg, Zac Guilford, Sean Maitland and Robbie Fruean. If it wasn't for their support play then what DC and SBW did would have been for naught.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 11:22 am  

  • 35,000 isn't bad for a short-notice game of rugby between 2 foreign teams. Think how much Saracens, Wasps and Harlequins have to plug their games at big stadiums, and they've already got the advantage of a home fanbase.

    That said, about 75% of the crowd yesterday were South African.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 11:36 am  

  • for the people interesting in seeing the whole match, try one of the big torrent sites. query: "super rugby week".
    Game like this really makes me wanna see SH vs NH club matches!

    By Anonymous SBW's girl, at March 28, 2011 11:48 am  

  • Bullshit Nick, the scrum was solid as soon as Beast was on.

    Sonny Bitch shoulder charges players, I bet he won't be cited though.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 12:58 pm  

  • Those anonymous comments complaining about the crusaders is the probably same person. Get a life you sook, and use a name.

    I hate the wrap rule, i have never seen anyone get injured from a shoulder charge in rugby or league.

    By Anonymous Jarryd, at March 28, 2011 2:08 pm  

  • I'd love to see the full game, let me know if anyone has a link/torrent/etc

    By Blogger Paul, at March 28, 2011 2:59 pm  

  • 'That said, about 75% of the crowd yesterday were South African.'

    That's because South Africans flood to Europe because it's so great. Fresh water straight from a tap, praise the lord it's a miracle.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 3:35 pm  

  • @ the anon who said the scrum was solid when Beast went on yes it was. But it certainly wasn't dominant.

    By Blogger scripaz_blessin, at March 28, 2011 3:51 pm  

  • News just through that SBW will not be cited.

    Jeez, Nonu got 3 matches for something far less dangerous.

    By Anonymous edbok, at March 28, 2011 5:34 pm  

  • Nonu got one match. but it ended up being 2 or three weeks because of the Crusaders game which was cancelled, and I think a bye.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 5:54 pm  

  • People are trying to pin this all on the Sharks lack of backline talent. Let's be realistic: even though a couple were very good (Alberts, BDP, Beast)the Sharks forwards as a group were dominated in this game, both at scrum time and at the breakdown. No getting around that incovenient fact.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 28, 2011 6:20 pm  

  • SBW wrapped with his arms but his shoulders are so damn big the guy went flying.

    Get ready for 'if it was Bakkies Botha he would have got 100 weeks waaaaah waaaaah...' Acting like they have the exact same disciplinary record. Pathetic.

    By Anonymous Cronk, at March 28, 2011 11:44 pm  

  • The saders could beat some international teams I reckon, and when you have ABs from 10 to 15 it really helps ya out.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 12:03 am  

  • I hate the wrap rule, i have never seen anyone get injured from a shoulder charge in rugby or league.


    Clearly you haven't watched much of either. I don't like the wrap rule either, but there's injuries with shoulder charges just as there's injuries with any tackle.

    Also 35k is great considering I hadn't heard a thing about the game until today.

    If it was even vaguely marketed, not to mention saw the level of marketing the NFL throw at their London games, it would have sold out no question.

    Whoever was responsible for advertising failed big time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 12:04 am  

  • ^^ I watch alot of rugby and league on the weekends, trust me. If you have any links to people getting injured from it, let me know.

    By Anonymous Jarryd, at March 29, 2011 1:46 am  

  • It's acurrate to say that there are no more injuries from shoulder charges than normal tackles.
    And to someone who watches rugby league the no shoulder rule (there's no such thing as a wrap rule, the laws don't talk about wrapping arms anywhere), makes no sense at all and is stupid.
    But hey.

    By Anonymous Jono, at March 29, 2011 2:28 am  

  • If that isn't the proper backline for the All Blacks, I don't know what is.

    By Blogger Ronan Calder, at March 29, 2011 6:19 am  

  • How sad that these threads must always turn into childish bickering. This was a great game of rugby, with the Crusaders deserving their bonus point win. There’s much to admire and discuss. But instead a small group of drooling halfwits can’t help themselves and immediately turn it into a pissing contest of juvenile insults.

    I thought both SBW and Robbie Fruean were outstanding, and it will be hard to leave either out of the AB starting 15. But then you still have Nonu and Smith… tricky indeed. And it gets even more difficult selecting AB wings.

    If the Sharks had a little more quality at 10, 12 and 13 this would have been a real contest. Elsewhere they were pretty evenly matched, but Carter, Williams and Fruean killed them.

    Positives for the Sharks were the form of Bismark Du Plessis (probably the best hooker in the world at the moment) and that monster, Willem Alberts. How you go about stopping him when he’s built up a head of speed is beyond me.

    Can’t wait for the Stormers / Crusaders game. De Villiers & Fourie are probably the only SA centres that can stand up to Williams and Fruean.

    By Anonymous katman, at March 29, 2011 9:46 am  

  • I watch alot of rugby and league on the weekends, trust me. If you have any links to people getting injured from it, let me know.


    What are you talking about? There's injuries in every game from tackles. How many games do you watch?

    There was about 6 genuine injuries in the Knights - Manly game. It got so bad that there was only 1 interchange left and Fa'aoso had to play on after suffering a heavy concussion, and Ciraldo played about 30 minutes with a broken elbow.

    Rabbitohs game, 3 players off my head were concussed in tackles, visibly. Probably more were concussed and didn't show it.

    These aren't exceptions, it's normal. There's always injuries when you get two 250lb blokes smashing each other, with or without wrapping.

    Saying you've never seen an injury from a shoulder charge is just crazy. 4 rounds in I can give you a big list of players out injured on the back of tackles.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 11:13 am  

  • After only 3 rounds of NRL Rugby League


    From DailyTelegraph:

    THERE are increasing calls for the NRL to ease their salary cap crusade and allow clubs to replace players who have suffered long-term injuries.The calls come as rugby league confronts the most catastrophic early-season injury toll in the game's history.

    In just three rounds, 41 players - with a collective value of almost $10 million - have been ushered into an over-crowded casualty ward, stretching the game's depth to its limits.

    While the NRL offers small concessions for injured players,Manly coach Des Hasler believes clubs confronting massive injury tolls should be allowed to buy replacement players. Otherwise, Hasler says, clubs could have their seasons destroyed after just a few rounds.

    The NRL last night agreed to review Hasler's proposal, which was also endorsed by rival officials and coaches.

    "We can't let a couple of injuries potentially ruin a club's season," Hasler said.

    "Imagine if the Tigers lost Benji Marshall or the Roosters Todd Carney? They should be replaced but at the moment clubs can't because they are right on the salary cap.

    "Clubs need a way out so their season isn't written off.

    "The Wests Tigers will have Lote Tuqiri out for three months and Chris Lawrencefor possibly the season. Why can't they be replaced?

    "I know the salary cap is there to protect the game, but it can be a restriction of trade because clubs aren't allowed to recruit another player to do the same job.

    "Clubs outlay a heavy financial commitment for players, particularly marquee players."Five top-line players are already expected to be sidelined for the season with major injuries - Storm centre Chase Stanley, Souths prop Scott Geddes, Warriors centre Jerome Ropati, Roosters back-rower Anthony Cherrington and star Tigers centre Chris Lawrence.

    The NRL says it will table Hasler's proposal at the next salary cap sub-committee meeting.

    Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said of injury pressure on clubs: "If a coach is put in that situation [losing a star], he would love the opportunity to fit in another player. Sometimes we go to our kids too early. That can create a monster because they're not ready but they want NRL money."The Knights were hammered by injuries last weekend with four players leaving the field. Knights CEO Steve Burraston said: "Losing players long-term can put you under enormous pressure, particularly if they happen in the first three or four rounds and you know a player won't be coming back.

    "The only problem could be forgery, where clubs feign injuries to some sign another player. But I would hope all clubs are above that."

    Hasler said that could be avoided by club doctors signing statutory declarations.

    However, Canterbury coach Kevin Moore is against any move to change the current rule, saying: "It's all part and parcel of football. That is why you build depth - to cover for these situations."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 11:16 am  

  • ^^ I watched every game except the storm and cowboys, not one of those injuries were from a shoulder charge, they were all from normal tackles or limbs getting caught in awkward positons.

    I wasnt saying players never get injured, all i said was i've never seen anyone get injured from a shoulder charge.. except willie mason but he got shouldered in the head thats why.

    By Anonymous Jarryd, at March 29, 2011 1:05 pm  

  • There ARE more injuries in league.
    However, this is because there are many more runs and tackles in a game of league than a game of union.
    A top forward in league can make up to 50 or 60 tackles and a dozen runs in a game.

    By Anonymous Jono, at March 30, 2011 12:06 am  

  • I agree with you mate. The majority of serious injuries are from awkward and twisted limbs, usually from 3 in a tackle.

    But to say shoulder charges don't injure people is false. It might not be the main cause, but of cause it causes injuries. Plenty of concussions from the shoulder charge

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 31, 2011 3:27 pm  

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