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THE CHIROPRACTOR101
18-02-06, 01:54 PM
Crusaders find top gear in the end


Saturday, February 18, 2006* Print this article
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Chris Latham in the thick of it.
Photo: Getty Images



Crusaders 47 Reds 21

Queensland threatened to pull off a huge upset before suffering another second-half meltdown as the reigning champions ran away with victory Saturday night.

The gutsy Reds were on track for an astonishing Suncorp Stadium victory when skipper Chris Latham crossed the line for a crowd-stirring converted try to help his side into a 21-16 lead in the 58th minute.

But the Crusaders, inspired by classy All Blacks five-eighth Dan Carter, stormed home in the Brisbane heat with four tries in the last 13 minutes as the home side finished the game with 13 men.

It was a virtual carbon copy of last week's gut-wrenching fade-out to NSW when the Reds led until the 68th minute before injuries and exhaustion took their toll.

Last night, it was the 67th minute when the Crusaders broke the game open when Carter combined with Rico Gear to put Casey Laulala over.


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Three minutes later Carter, who was unusually off line with the boot in the first half, landing seven from 12 altogether, crossed for his second try to kill off Queensland.

The scoreline did no justice to the effort of the Reds, again led brilliantly by halfback Sam Cordingley, who controlled the match for the first hour but lacked the composure to finish off a handful of line breaks.

Rubbing salt into their wounds, they were denied a bonus point when a 75th-minute Elton Flatley try was dubiously called back for a shoulder charge by winger Henari Veratau.

From the ensuing play Carter kicked cross field for Gear to score.

It wasn't the only shoulder charge decision the Reds took issue with as No.8 Mitchell Chapman was sin-binned for such a knock in the 70th minute.

Apart from a misfiring lineout, Reds coach Jeff Miller lavished praise on his side's gutsy performance.

"For the second week in a row I was really proud of the guys and the way they stuck it to them," he said.

"The score wasn't a true reflection of the game. There are so many positives for us to take away from tonight's game and work even harder on."

There was a scare for the Reds when Latham limped off on the hour mark after aggravating a rib injury but he declared himself right for next Saturday's clash against the winless Blues.

Crusaders coach Robbie Deans said his All Blacks-laden team battled with the hot and humid conditions in a free-running game.

"We're delighted to get out of here with five points," he said.

Skipper Richie McCaw, winded by a huge tackle by Lloyd Johansson in the lead-up to Carter's second try, said the Reds pressure rattled them early

"For 60 minutes it was a real battle out there," he said. "The Reds put us under pressure and we made a few mistakes."

The 23,551-strong Brisbane crowd couldn't believe their eyes early as the Reds shot to a 8-0 lead and then saw the normally prolific Carter miss two penalties. But the off-colour Crusaders showed their quality and fired back strongly.

The fightback also ensured sweet 100-game celebrations for veterans Reuben Thorne and Caleb Ralph.

CRUSADERS 47 (D Carter 2, L MacDonald, C Laulala, R Gear, A Mauger tries; D Carter 4 goals, 3 pens) beat REDS 21 (D Mitchell, C Latham tries; E Flatley goal, 3 pens). Referee: Mark Lawrence. Crowd: 23,551.

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after watching this game i have come to the conclusion that chris latham...is the man!!!

and he is the best fullback in the world..hmmm with percy montgomery hot on his trail
i dont rate muliaina much...almost one dimensional in most test matches...

reds actually played rugby for once..which was suprising coz they really sucked at it like last year but they really solid..suprising as i thought they would outlast the cantabs with there homefield advantage with the weather conditions..but no

shame on them and the blues will destroy them next week :P

Gay-Guy
18-02-06, 06:34 PM
Its all in the finishing.

Crusaders had a shocking game especially early on with Carters kicking both at the posts and tactically. But they do know how to put the ball down over the line which is what it is all about in the end. Just ask those poor unfortunate Force players who tried so hard for one try on overtime :(

aussie1st
18-02-06, 07:47 PM
The worrying thing is the Crusaders were no where near their best in the first 60. Then they hit top gear and like always blew out the score.
The Reds should not have taken off Barnes, Johansson needs to start in place of Huxley as he was that good and he plays like a outside center.

Wally
19-02-06, 03:02 AM
There just isn't the depth on the bench (other than Johansson) to close out tight games. It was the same story against New South Wales, we just fall to pieces around that 60 minute mark.

umosay
19-02-06, 10:18 AM
If the Reds were going to beat the Crusaders then this was the night... you don't get Dan kicking at 40-50% a lot.

Rico Gear's try was superb, he did the goosestep and just burn't them. He's our best winger at the moment, no question.

aussie1st
19-02-06, 10:45 PM
Originally posted by Wally@Feb 19 2006, 03:02 PM
There just isn't the depth on the bench (other than Johansson) to close out tight games. It was the same story against New South Wales, we just fall to pieces around that 60 minute mark.
What about your two best backs - Mitchell and Latham?

esoj
19-02-06, 11:10 PM
yeah promising from the reds but they lost and how good are ther crusaders. not their best game buts still cleaned up on an off night

I sure hope the blues win next week against the reds. although last year they seemed to struggle against them

woosaah
19-02-06, 11:23 PM
i missed the last 14 minutes of the game, aparently it was the best part (cause when i left the crusaders were down)

i was at the cricket in the corportae box, had the canes game in the background, and after the cricket we turned our attention to the crusaders game (as most of the people in there were crusaders supporters, weird for a wellington corporate box) and they kicked us out at 1130. that sucked so much

but we were drunk got home to find out the result. good stuff :)

Gay-Guy
20-02-06, 03:11 AM
Originally posted by umosay@Feb 19 2006, 10:18 PM
If the Reds were going to beat the Crusaders then this was the night... you don't get Dan kicking at 40-50% a lot.

Rico Gear's try was superb, he did the goosestep and just burn't them. He's our best winger at the moment, no question.
Caleb Ralph looked a bit out of sorts on the wing. They really need Hamilton back. Tuualii and the other brown bombers in the team are a bit below their standard and need to pick it up. Sommerville looks like he is showing his age....actually the whole front row look a bit below at the moment. Mauger is yet to regain last years S12 form. Senio looks like he is yet to gel with his surrounding players. Laulala looks slightly worse every year. But more than anyone Carter had a shocker.

Yeah the Crusaders really did have an off day.....man the Reds had their chance but they blew it.

However the Reds do look like they have a chance to do well this year. They have the gifted Mitchell to help out at the back with their rock Latham. If they can find some steel in their defence especially in the last quarter then they will improve a bit indeed. :)

umosay
20-02-06, 03:24 AM
GG i must say I disagree with a lot of that post. Carter did not have a shcoker, he had a shocker with the Boot - If 28 points including 2 tries is a shocker then damn!

It's always gonna take a while for players to gel, i think Senio has started very well actually. Ralph is more suited to centre IMO. Mauger had a solid game, set up a beauty of a try for Dan and scored at the end. His passing skills are unsurpassed aswell - especially that cutout to Ralph for MacDonald's try. If 47 Points is an off day then look out when they hit their straps... although they were down for a lot of the game to be fair.

The TRUTH
20-02-06, 03:28 AM
....and Tuiali'i had a blinder

Gay-Guy
20-02-06, 04:00 AM
lol...you spoilers....... :P

It was a tongue in cheek stab at the Reds and every other team that this is what the Crusaders can do when they suck....gee..........talk about spoiling the party <_<

Wally
20-02-06, 06:56 AM
The Reds will win the premiership.

Dumbo
20-02-06, 08:37 AM
No they won&#39;t, plus have decided to make Latham a honary Kiwi... it&#39;s always good to see a local boy do well.

esoj
20-02-06, 08:54 PM
the reds will be lucky not to be in the bottom 3 teams.

the crusaders are awesome on an off night they nearly put 50 on a team. if they play welll the score could be massice especially against weaker teams.

Wally
21-02-06, 06:12 AM
Originally posted by esoj@Feb 21 2006, 08:54 AM
the reds will be lucky not to be in the bottom 3 teams.

the crusaders are awesome on an off night they nearly put 50 on a team. if they play welll the score could be massice especially against weaker teams.
Wrong. They had an off night for 65 minutes. The last 15 were brilliant.