Dan Carter had been sidelined since the opening round of the season when he suffered a leg injury in his Christchurch-based team’s 20-10 loss to the Melbourne Rebels. He returned Saturday but did not replace All Blacks teammate Colin Slade at flyhalf, starting instead in the No. 12 jersey.
Carter kicked conversions of tries by scrumhalf Andy Ellis, replacement Kieron Fonotia and returning backrower Kieran Read, and a conversion of a penalty try awarded for a scrum infringement in the 55th minute.
The Crusaders led 13-3 at halftime. Elton Jantjies kicked two penalties for the Lions. Meanwhile, the Dunedin-based Highlanders scored three tries, including a bonus-point effort, in an eight-minute period on either side of halftime to beat the defending champion New South Wales Waratahs 26-19. Winger Waisake Naholo outflanked the defense to score a try in the 38th minute to give the Highlanders a 14-12 halftime lead after trailing for much of the first half.
Fullback Ben Smith and winger Patrick Osborne then scored in the 3rd and 6th minutes of the second half to extend the lead, and the Highlanders held on for victory. – Sapa