25 Feb 2017

Crusaders edge Brumbies

9:50 pm on 25 February 2017

Pete Samu's second-half try proved to be the difference between the sides as the Canterbury Crusaders beat Australia's ACT Brumbies 17-13 in their Super Rugby clash in Christchurch on Saturday.

Pete Samu.

Pete Samu. Photo: Photosport

Seta Tamanivalu and Whetu Douglas also went over for the home side, with Richie Mo'unga adding a conversion as a determined Crusaders recorded their seventh successive victory over the Canberra-based side.

Lock Rory Arnold scored an early second half try for the Brumbies, while flyhalf Wharenui Hawera added two penalties and a conversion.

The Crusaders had made a blistering start with All Blacks centre Tamanivalu, playing on the wing, scoring after just three minutes of his first official Super Rugby game for the seven-times champions since his transfer from the Chiefs.

At that stage, the Australian side appeared to be struggling with the pace of the game from the home team.

Crusaders fullback Israel Dagg suffered a scary moment early on when he fell heavily following a challenge in the air by James Dargaville.

The Brumbies winger was shown a yellow card by referee Glen Jackson and while the hosts had numerous opportunities, they were unable to make use of their man advantage.

Whetu Douglas celebrates his try with Seta Tamanivalu.

Whetu Douglas celebrates his try with Seta Tamanivalu. Photo: Photosport

The home side did not manage to breach a stubborn Brumbies' defence again until the final 10 minutes of the first half when number eight Douglas crossed after Dagg created an overlap out wide.

Arnold, however, reduced the deficit straight after halftime with one of their few raids into Crusaders' territory, with Hawera, who slotted a first half penalty, adding the conversion.

The Crusaders continued to dominate territory and with some fresh legs in the front row, began to attack the Brumbies scrum with openside flanker Samu picking up a loose ball and crashing over after the visitors' pack disintegrated.

Despite their dominance, the home side were not able to pull away as the Brumbies defence, led by Wallabies flanker Scott Fardy at the breakdown, stymied their attacks.

Hawera added his second penalty to reduce the deficit to 17-13 and make the final 12 minutes nerve-wracking for the home fans.

- Reuters