“Saturday March 12 at Trafalgar Park, Nelson 2.35 pm.
Ref: Tappe Henning (RSA) Crowd: 15,514. H/T 35-5 Crusaders.
Campbell Burnes at Trafalgar Plark.
Fifty minutes of superb flowing rugby was enough for the Crusaders to suppress the Reds wearing white before a capacity crowd enjoying the Nelson sun. The match was effectively over as a contest by halftime once the home team had flexed its muscle at set piece time and it became clear the skills of Carter, Mauger and Gear would be too much for the embattled visitors. Yet it was the Reds who started better, scoring the first try through Junior Pelesasa who gave Carter a big “don’t argue” after a brilliant bootlace pick-up by Chris Latham, one of only two from the tsunami match who started last weekend. Latham was then the culprit when he duffed a clearing kick which enabled Casey Laulala to score the All Black laden side’s first five pointer. The floodgates opened and 75 points seemed possible. Robbie Deans rang the changes and the game lost its shape. The Reds picked themselves up and nailed some nice tries before new Nelson lad Rico Gear dotted down for the second time under the posts. He was impressive and will put heat on Doug Howlett for the All Black No. 14 jersey. Captain McCaw as ever was outstanding.
BEST AND FAIREST:Richie McCaw (Crusaders) 3, Greg Somerville (Crusaders) 2, Aaron Mauger (Crusaders 1.
The 59 points and eight tries were both Crusaders records in matches against the Reds.
The 22 points scored by Carter is the most by any Crusaders player in matches against the Reds.
The Crusaders now have six consecutive victories against the Reds.
Richie McCaw has scored a try agains the Reds on both their recent visits.
From “Rugby News”, Issue 3 2005 p. 27.