Taylor inspires Crusaders to end Stormers' run
April 13, 2012
Tom Taylor scored all 31 points for the Crusaders © Getty Images
Tom Taylor was the star of the show for the Crusaders as he scored all of their points as they ended the Stormers' unbeaten start to the season with a 31-24 win in Christchurch on Saturday. While the Stormers were never out of the match they were always behind as Taylor - with a try, conversion and eight penalties - equalled a Super record set by several other players since 1996.
But it is the Chiefs who top the New Zealand conference after they overcame the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. The Waikato franchise ran in five tries en route to their 39-33 triumph with Lelia Masaga, Sonny Bill Williams, Richard Kahui and a double from loose-head Sona Taumalolo helping them towards their target. For the Cheetahs, the outstanding Johan Goosen crossed along with soon-to-be Wasp Ashley Johnson.
In the all South African clash in Johannesburg, the Bulls eased past the Lions with a 32-18 win. The Bulls ran in five tries with Akona Ndungane, Francois Hougaard, Zane Kirchner, CJ Stander and PJJ Kruger all scoring. The Lions tries came thanks to Tian Meyer and Josh Strauss.
In Canberra, the Brumbies hammered the Melbourne Rebels 37-6 to cement their spot at the top of the Australian conference. Four first-half tries for the Brumbies gave them a 30-6 lead at the break and the Rebels never looked able to mount a serious comeback.
On Friday, the Blues slid to their sixth defeat of the season as the Sharks won a pulsating clash at Eden Park 29-23, piling the pressure on under-fire coach Pat Lam. The Blues were caught cold as two intercepted tries left them 15-0 down after 17 minutes, although by the second minute of the second half they had battled back to lead 18-15. But within eight minutes Sharks had regained the lead thanks to a brace of tries.
"We had so many opportunities to win that game and win it well by half-time," Lam admitted. "We talked about it at half-time, we knew the reason why they're called the Sharks, because they feed off your mistakes and unfortunately we were making them."
In Perth, the Waratahs held off a fierce comeback by Western Force to win 23-18. Although they trailed 17-3 at the break, the Force were only beaten thanks to two late penalties from the boot of Berrick Barnes.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.