25 Mar 2012

Crusaders christen new home with win

11:26 am on 25 March 2012

The Crusaders beat the Cheetahs 28-21 in their inaugural home Super Rugby game at the new Christchurch Stadium on Saturday night.

Israel Dagg, Robert Fruean and Sean Maitland scored the tries for the home side at the new venue.

The hosts led 11-3 at half-time after Maitland's opening try, but the Cheetahs went down fighting with two second-half tries to Robert Ebersohn and an impressive end-to-end score by teenage Cheetahs first five-eighths Goosen, which saw the ball move quickly through the hands after a turnover.

With 10 minutes of the game left the scores were locked at 21-21 before fullback Dagg scored the winner in the 75th minute.

It was the Crusaders' first home game in nearly two years and Daniel Carters' first game since the All Black first five's injury at the World Cup.

Carter had an immediate impact when he was introduced after the break, throwing a cut-out assist for the Crusader's second try to Fruean.

Elsewhere the Stormers moved to the top of the table with a 24-19 win over the Lions at Ellis Park while the Bulls routed champions Queensland Reds 61-8 in Pretoria.

On Saturday the ACT Brumbies snapped the Highlanders' winning run 33-26 in Canberra, while the New South Wales Waratahs came from behind to edge South Africans the Sharks 34-30.