The Brumbies brought a full strength team and a five wins out of six record to Christchurch for their matchup with the Crusaders. They had reason to be confident against a home team that had lost heavily to the Waratahs in their first match and to the Blues in their second. They had won three games since but went into the Brumbies encounter without veteran playmaker Andrew Mehrtens (ill), replaced by former New Zealand Colt Cameron McIntyre, starting his first Super Rugby match.
But it all came together for the Crusaders with a 47 – 28 win, at the time the highest score recorded against the Brumbies by any team.
Mehrtens’ absence did not prove too serious. Second five eight Dan Carter took over the kicking duties, landing 4 conversions and 4 penalties. And McIntrye turned in a confident and skillful performance. His fast chase and charge down of a Joe Roff clearing kick brought the Crusaders’ second try and took them to a 14 point lead.
There was a Brumbies fight back, and they trailed just 21- 26 starting the last quarter before the Crusaders kicked away. Even so, the Brumbies scored four tries to the Crusaders’ five.
Crusaders 47: McCaw (2), McIntyre, Blair, Ralph tries. Carter 4 con., 4 pen. McIntyre con.
Brumbies 28: Rathbone (2), Giteau, Gerrard tries. Roff 4 con.