6 Feb 2011

Crusaders given a test by Rebels

5:48 am on 6 February 2011

The Crusaders were given a big test by Super Rugby newcomers the Melbourne Rebels before winning their pre-season match 19-14 in Melbourne.

The Crusaders scored 3 tries to 2 and lost All Black Israel Dagg early in the match with the fullback limping from the field, however coach Todd Blackadder says he suffered a corked thigh and should make a quick recovery.

Meanwhile New Zealand recruits Willie Ripia and David Smith made a positive first impression in Western Force colours, helping their side to a 40-24 victory over an Australian Barbarians side in Sydney.