Vibrant Crusaders hit 50 against Cheetahs
April 12, 2014
The Crusaders were dominant in attack crashing over for six tries
© Getty Images
The Crusaders have discovered their Super Rugby attacking verve with a rollicking 52-31 over the leaky Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. Giant Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo scored three of the Crusaders' six tries while first five-eighth Colin Slade reaped 25 points as the New Zealand side made it two-from-two on their South African tour.
They also displayed the expressive rugby lacking in their first six games, in which they had scored just 12 tries. A fourth win from seven games lifts the seven-time champions into a mid-table position ahead of tough games against the Chiefs and Brumbies.
The Cheetahs scored four tries but slumped to a sixth loss from eight to virtually end their hopes of repeating last year's maiden playoffs appearance. Their defence is comfortably the worst in the competition, averaging nearly 40 points conceded per game.
The Cheetahs threatened to snatch victory after scoring three converted tries in the space of nine minutes midway through the second half to lead 31-26. However, the visitors found their second wind to respond with four in the last 16 minutes, including two to Nadolo, and one each to the influential Slade and reserve back Tom Taylor.
Crusaders found their attacking brilliance and ran in six tries in a high scoring match (available in Australia Only)
Unlike the previous week's win over the Lions, the Crusaders started strongly although they created just one first-half try to fullback Israel Dagg to match an early score from Cheetahs wing Cornal Hendricks. An exquisite offload from No.8 Kieran Read 27 seconds after halftime sent Nadolo over for his first Super Rugby try before the the hosts responded with some dizzying attack of their own.
The victory is the Crusaders' 12th in 14 games against South African teams.
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league