Crusaders V Force - as it happened
Sat, 14 Jul 2012 5:23p.m.
By Louis Anderson-Rich
Hello and welcome to Christchurch where the Crusaders are looking to make their playoff drams a reality against the Force in Super Rugby action.
The Crusaders have been here before. A win tonight and their hopes of a home quarter final could be realised. However the Force have an Australian Ruby stalwart to farewell in the form of Nathan Sharpe. There will be no shortage of emotion in this Super Rugby clash.
We’ll bring you video live updates throughout the match, including video highlights of all the big plays and tries.
Make sure you refresh your page occasionally. We’ll add VIDEO COMING SOON when we’re cutting the highlights and VIDEO UP when it’s ready to be viewed.
LIVE COMMENTARY: Crusaders 38 – 24 Force
80 Min: there goes the hooter and the Force will continue to keep play going…eventually concede a penalty and that’s fulltime!
79 Min: Kyle Godwin with the kick…over it goes.
78 Min: Force off the back of the scrum it’s popped up to Holmes and he’s gone over! TRY! VIDEO UP
77 Min: Nalaga takes a tap and barrels into the Crusaders defence! He’s over the line but held up…5 metre scrum.
76 Min: Force with a nice backline move here it’s Cummins who comes close…Sharpe with a decent offload Force recycle quickly and it’s Holmes…to McCafferey…play brought back for a penalty to the Force.
74 Min: Force down in Crusaders territory at the moment with a lineout…Again it is waaaayyy over the back…somehow the Force regather it…and the Crusaders have given away a penalty and the referee reaches for his pocket. Yellow card shown to George Whitelock!
72 Min: Mafia takes a smashing from Romano! Crusaders drive over and get the turn over, spread it out to Fruean who puts Guildford in to some space but he’s tackled…attack breaks down.
71 Min: Force remain in the Crusaders 22 and prepare to have a go 10 metres out from the line with a lineout…the throw is terrible as it soars past the Force lineout, cleared up by Adam Whitelock…
70 Min: Crusaders take a quick throw in from a Force clearance and it’s Guildford to Dagg who goes back to Guildford who lets it fly forwards from his hands! Into the path of Nalaga, Force breaking! Kick ahead! Dagg gets back to clear it up.
66 Min: Tom Taylor spots a gap in the Force’s half brilliantly! He’s in space looking for support! It comes in the form of George Whitelock! He goes very close to the line but just short! Quick recycle finds the Crusaders out on the left wing and it’s Guildford who tries to pop it out to Fruean on the wing! But it’s gone forward inches from the line!
65 Min: Force restart goes out on the full.
64 Min: Taylor slots the three.
63 Min: Crusaders just can’t seem to string together a backline move at the moment as a pass goes forward to an on running Dagg…little bit of push and shove between the forwards as well…Play brought back for a Crusaders penalty and Tom Taylor will have another shot at goal.
61 Min: Sheehan puts the kick over.
60 Min: Force making another excursion into the Crusaders 22…it’s Sheehan who goes blindside to Sharpe…back the other way to Brown…now Sheehan goes wide to Godwin who goes back inside to Alfi Mafi and he goes over! TRY! VIDEO UP
56 Min: Crusaders with a lineout on the Force’s 22…it’s scrappy in there as Sharpe puts a hand in it where it shouldn’t be…now the crusaders look tidy, they whip it out over to the right and it’s Dagg, he stabs a kick through and Whitelock is in pursuit! Oh nope he’s called back for offside after going through all that effort of scoring AND celebrating.
55 Min: Bit of space opens up for Maitland down the left wing…he finds himself in touch though.
54 Min: Brett Sheehan gets the conversion.
53 Min: Force a couple of metres away from the line, ball fired back out to Kyle Godwin who shows some wonderful hands to catch the ball and go over! TRY! VIDEO UP
52 Min: Force make a rare venture into the Crusaders half…they’ve even made it into their 22! Great pass from Seymour to Alfie Mafi…Crusaders pinged for offside taken quickly by Nathan Sharpe but called back…
49 Min: Force pinged for offside and Tom Taylor is going to have a shot at goal…which he lands.
48 Min: This time the penalty goes against the Crusaders and the Force take it quickly and spread it widce…Nalaga powers at the defence…but they’ve lost it…
47 Min: Crusaders aren’t keen on letting the Force into their half though and turn the ball over.
46 Min: Crusaders kick for touch and then fumble the resulting lineout losing out to the Force who kick it away…they retrieve the kick as well so they’ve done well here…
45 Min: It doesn’t get any easier for the Force as they concede a penalty 5 metres out from their own line for not binding in the scrum…
44 Min: Ellis picks up a loose lineout from the Force and the Crusaders counter, Crotty goes out to Adam Whitelock who puts a decent kick ahead for Guildford to chase ahead! He can’t get the bounce though and knocks it on metres out from the line.
43 Min: Crusaders eventually concede a penalty after another menacing attack.
42 Min: Maitland confronted by Nalaga with a decent tackle on the right wing…Crusaders in the Force’s 22…
41 Min: Ben Seymour gets the second half back underway!
Looks like Todd Blackadder has made a few changes at halftime. In particular Dan Carter has come off for Tom Taylor and Richie McCaw has also left the field.
40 Min: That’s halftime.
39 Min: Crusaders again attack straight from the kick off, fantastic running rugby…ellis eventually brought down and he earns a penalty which Carter will kick at goal from right out in front…He nails it.
37 Min: Carter converts.
36 Min: Crusader straight back in the action after McCaw busted up through the middle from the restart he offloads to Todd who offloads to an oncoming Dagg…Dag tries to go all the way with men on the outside and he gets snaffled up…Crusaders still with the ball though and it’s Ellis out on the right…back to Crotty, to Adam Whitelock who goes close! Recycled quickly comes up for Matt Todd and he goes over! TRY! VIDEO UP
35 Min: Lots of replays from the third official…TRY awarded! Contentious decision though…Carter converts.
34 Min: Crusaders scrum 5 metres from the line and it’s McCaw who tries to drive over, now Whitelock fumbles with it, puts it back into the arms of Ellis though who seems to have gone over the line! We go to the TMO…
32 Min: Crusaders work an excellent switch from the back of a scrum and Ellis has put Carter in plenty of space…Carter with the stab kick through for an oncoming Guildford, but Cummins is there to tidy, but no he’s lost it! The arm is out from the ref for the Crusaders…ref brings play back for the initial penalty and the Crusaders opt for the scrum.
30 Min: Carter pops this one over.
29 Min: couple of kicks traded but the Crusaders now decide to run with ball in hand…Crotty moves it on to Todd who finds Dagg who spots the gap! He’s busting through centrefield, offloads to Guildford who pops it to Adam Whitelock! Crusaders eventually stall about 5 metres out…advantage being played to them as they swing it out to the opposite side, nothing comes of it so we will go back to the penalty which will be kicked at goal.
26 Min: Ben Seymour lines up the three…and curls it in brilliantly.
25 Min: Force make their way up to the Crusaders 22…strong play from their forward pack…advantage being played for the Force and it’s Seymour to Dellit back inside to Cummins and they’re going nowhere so the ref will call it back for the original penalty, which the Force decide to kick at goal.
24 Min: Flat pass from Sheehan to Cummins out on the right and the force earn a penalty against Matt Todd of the Crusaders.
22 Min: Force with a lineout 10 metres from the Cursaders line…Richard Brown takes it down and the Force now break away it’s Nick Cummins who goes hard in the tackle and loses the ball…Carter with the kick downfield and Adam Whitelock is chasing! Nalaga gets back and does well to tidy though.
20 Min: Toby Lynn does well in the lineout for the force after winning a lineout against the throwBrett Sheehan looks for a pass and then decides to go himself but gets tackled and the Crusaders have turned it overrrrr, no they haven’t. ref calls play back for a Crusaders knock on.
18 Min: Force working through their phases now…Nalaga has taken it up to the 22 but a mistake from Salesi Manu means all the Force’s hard work comes to nothing.
15 Min: Carter can’t add the extras.
14 Min: Crusaders win the lineout and start their backline move…Maitland has come bolting around the back of Crotty who offloads to him and Maitland goes over! TRY! VIDEO UP
13 Min: Great kick downfield from Carter, Nalaga was running back underneath it but he couldn’t hold on to it and it will be a Crusaders lineout in the Force 22…
12 Min: Crusaders probing the right side now with McCaw to Carter to Dagg. He holds on to the ball for too long after being tackled though.
11 Min: Crusaders with another turnover now and its in a dangerous position, Crotty gliding down the left, inside to Ellis who finds Guildford on his shoulder he comes so close to the line! But the Force win back possession and hoof it away. VIDEO UP
10 Min: Crusaders ain a penalty which Carter uncharacteristically kicks dead instead of in to touch. We go back to a scrum on halfway.
9 Min: Crusaders still in possession as they work through their phases…Ellis with the ball 5 out but he’s lost it forward and now the Force come screaming away with it down the right side with Nick Cummins…Force can’t do anything with it though and eventually hoof it away downfield.
7 Min: Crusaders with a good lineout, their first of the match and they bring it forward with George Whitelock…Dagg frees it up nicely for Sean Maitland and they’re inside the 22…Carter swings a pass the other way to Guildford who tries to step through, Force defence holding up well…
5 Min: Crusaders managed to turn a ball over on the halfway line and some quick hands sees them make their way up the field nicely…they eventually give away a penalty though.
3 Min: Dan Carter adds the extras.
2 Min: Dagg lost it forwards with the grounding but they award the try anyway! TRY! VIDEO UP
1 Min: And Dan Carter gets us underway and Crusaders instantly on the attack as they regather the ball from the kick off…It’s Carter to Crotty to Dagg who goes up on the line hard…They head out to the left wing and it’s Dagg again who goes over the line! 47 seconds in we’re going to the TMO!
Both teams out on the turf, not far from starting now…
While you wait for kickoff, watch highlights of the Crusaders match last week.
1. Ben Franks 2. Corey Flynn , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Luke Romano , 5. Tom Donnelly , 6. George Whitelock , 7. Matt Todd , 8. Richie McCaw (c) , 9. Andy Ellis , 10. Dan Carter (vc) , 11. Zac Guildford , 12. Ryan Crotty , 13. Adam Whitelock , 14. Sean Maitland , 15. Israel Dagg
Reserves : 16. Quentin MacDonald ,17. Wyatt Crockett ,18. Samuel Whitelock , 19. Luke Whitelock ,20. Willi Heinz , 21. Tom Taylor , 22. Robbie Fruean
1. Tetera Faulkner, 2. Nathan Charles, 3. Salesi Manu, 4. Toby Lynn, 5. Nathan Sharpe (c), 6. Richard Brown, 7. Angus Cottrell, 8. Lachlan McCaffrey, 9. Brett Sheehan, 10. Ben Seymour, 11. Napolioni Nalaga, 12. Rory Sidey, 13. Patrick Dellit, 14. Nick Cummins, 15. Alfie Mafi.
Reserves: 16. Ben Whittaker, 17. Ruan Smith, 18. Pek Cowan, 19. Ollie Atkins, 20. Josh Holmes, 21. Kyle Godwin, 22. Will Tupou.
The Crusaders have a healthy respect for Western Force captain Nathan Sharpe, but they're determined the veteran lock's Super Rugby send-off will be a losing one.
Sharpe, 34, missed the 32-9 defeat to the Blues last weekend through a back injury, but the most experienced player in the competition's history is expected to make his 162nd appearance in Christchurch on Saturday night.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder believes emotions will be high within the opposition camp for the 104-cap Wallaby, who will hang up his boots after this year's inaugural four-nation Rugby Championship.
But Blackadder says the home side can't afford to get caught up in the fanfare, with a win over the second-bottom Force guaranteeing them a home quarter-final.
"He's the main go-to guy in the lineouts for them and in the go-forward as well," he said.
"He's a big ball-carrier and with it being his last game I expect there will be a few emotions. They've got nothing to lose, which makes them even more dangerous."
While the Force might be expected to pose few problems for the seven-time champions, Blackadder is aware that another little-fancied Australian team, the Melbourne Rebels, defied the odds to come from behind to beat the Crusaders two months ago.
"In a roundabout way, we've alluded to the fact that these are the games where we've slipped up," he said.
"We've got too much to play for to slip up now."
Blackadder has made three changes to the starting line-up from the 28-21 win over competition leaders the Chiefs.
Lock Sam Whitelock and centre Robbie Fruean have been given a spell on the bench, with Tom Donnelly and Sean Maitland taking their places.
No.8 Kieran Read's rib injury means skipper Richie McCaw will again move to the back of the scrum, with Matt Todd coming into the openside flanker spot.
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