No image available
/ 29 May 2008

Pack clash key in Super 14 showdown

The Crusaders and Waratahs face off in a classic showdown for the Super 14 rugby crown in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Saturday. ”It’s going to be an epic,” said Crusaders coach Robbie Deans, the most successful coach in the history of Super rugby. In a match laden with All Blacks and Wallabies, Waratahs assistant coach Steve Tuynman sees the final as one for the purists.

No image available
/ 28 May 2008

Motivation no problem for the Crusaders

All Black scrumhalf Andy Ellis says the Crusaders don’t need any external motivation to lift their weary bodies for the Super 14 rugby final against the New South Wales Waratahs in Christchurch on Saturday. ”In finals week, there’s no problem in picking it up and getting excited,” Ellis explained.

No image available
/ 24 May 2008

Crusaders book place in the final

Fullback Leon MacDonald scored two tries as the Canterbury Crusaders booked a place in the Super 14 rugby final for the 10th time with a 33-22 win over the Wellington Hurricanes on Saturday. MacDonald’s tries either side of halftime rewarded massive advantages of territory and possession and kept the Crusaders on target for their seventh championship title.

No image available
/ 2 May 2008

Crusaders send Sharks crashing

The Canterbury Crusaders extended their lead at the top of the Super 14 table to virtually assure themselves of a home semifinal after a hard-fought 18-10 win over the Coastal Sharks on Friday. With two rounds remaining, the chances of a semifinal spot for the Sharks — who were in third place going into the match — are waning after three straight losses.

No image available
/ 25 April 2008

Crusaders beat Blues to cement Super 14 lead

The Canterbury Crusaders strengthened their grip on the Super 14 with a nail-biting 26-22 win over the Auckland Blues on Friday, taking them a huge step closer to a home semifinal spot. During an often frantic clash, the Blues pounded the Crusaders’ line in the last 15 minutes, scoring one try and missing another two by the narrowest of margins.

No image available
/ 12 April 2008

Crusaders shrug off the Lions

All-conquering Super 14 leaders the Canterbury Crusaders shrugged off wholesale changes to their line-up to thrash bottom-placed Golden Lions 31-6 in Christchurch on Saturday. With their novices to the fore, the unbeaten Crusaders took maximum points as they reversed a 3-6 deficit at half-time.

No image available
/ 15 March 2008

Crusaders a class above the Cheetahs

The unbeaten Canterbury Crusaders showed their depth of quality when they made sweeping changes to the side but still beat the Central Cheetahs 55-7 in Super 14 rugby in Christchurch on Saturday. In a nine-try rampage the Crusaders took maximum points to remain firmly embedded at the top of the table.

No image available
/ 15 July 2007

Referees frightened of McCaw, says Bok captain

Springbok captain Johann Muller said referees are afraid of sin-binning All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw following his team’s 33-6 Tri-Nations defeat on Saturday. He said referee Stuart Dickinson should have yellow-carded the All Black captain for an identical offence to one that later led to the sin-binning of South Africa’s Pedrie Wannenburg.

No image available
/ 14 July 2007

Last-minute tries seal win for All Blacks

Three converted tries in the final 12 minutes carried the All Blacks to a 33-6 win over the Springboks in their Tri-Nations rugby Test in Christchurch on Saturday. The win put New Zealand level with Australia at the head of the championship and set the stage for a classic showdown when the two teams meet in Auckland next week.

No image available
/ 13 July 2007

Muller hits back at Kiwi critics

Springbok captain Johann Muller did well to keep his calm on Friday in the face of some fairly stinging questions from the New Zealand press, who are anticipating a big win against the Boks in the Tri-Nations on Saturday. Muller was asked first if he thought he would concede a point for every preceding Bok captain — 52.

No image available
/ 13 July 2007

Rugby bosses vow to halt weakened teams

Southern hemisphere rugby bosses pledged on Friday never again to field weakened teams in the Tri-Nations and Super 14. ”It’s fair to say that it will never happen again,” John O’Neill, chief executive of South Africa New Zealand and Australia Rugby (Sanzar) told a media briefing in Christchurch.

No image available
/ 12 July 2007

World Cup overshadows Tri-Nations Test

The Rugby World Cup’s dominance of the international calendar has turned Saturday’s Tri-Nations Test between New Zealand and South Africa in Christchurch into little more than a glorified warm-up match. South Africa have fielded a weakened team for the meeting between two of the sport’s fiercest rivals, while New Zealand made seven changes.

No image available
/ 11 July 2007

Now McAlister looks north

All Black midfield back Luke McAlister confirmed on Wednesday he is seriously considering a move to English club Sale following this year’s World Cup. But the 23-year-old denied a British report that he has already signed a £250 000 contract and said he would not make a decision until the end of the month.

No image available
/ 4 May 2007

Chiefs down Crusaders

All Black winger Sitiveni Sivivatu scored two tries and flyhalf Stephen Donald kicked 20 points as the Waikato Chiefs beat the Canterbury Crusaders 30-24 in a Super 14 rugby match on Friday. The Chiefs strengthened their claim to a place in the tournament semifinals and weakened Canterbury’s grip on a home play-off advantage as they won at Jade Stadium.

No image available
/ 10 July 2006

New Zealand beat Australia in Tri-Nations opener

Hooker Keven Mealamu scored two first half tries on Saturday to lead New Zealand to a 32-12 win over Australia in the opening match of the Tri-Nations rugby series. Mealamu touched down twice in a five minute period at Jade Stadium, while Australia was reduced to 14 men by the sin-binning of flanker Rocky Elsom, to push the All Blacks toward their 18th straight win in home Test matches.

No image available
/ 2 June 2006

Thousands bid for handbag used to hit All Black

Thousands of dollars have been bid on an Internet auction site for the handbag used by former All Black captain Tana Umaga to strike team mate Chris Masoe and reduce him to tears. Last weekend’s incident at a Christchurch bar after Masoe hit another patron has quickly become folklore and late on Friday morning the bidding had reached NZ$4 500 ($2 840).

No image available
/ 28 May 2006

NZ rugby officials defend fog-bound final

New Zealand rugby officials have defended the decision to go ahead with the fog-bound Super 14 rugby final in Christchurch on Saturday, but said the match would have been postponed if it was any thicker. The match was reduced to a farce at times in the pea-souper that shrouded Jade Stadium, where the Canterbury Crusaders emerged from the fog as 19-12 victors over the Wellington Hurricanes.

No image available
/ 27 May 2006

Crusaders the victors in foggy final

Daniel Carter kicked 14 points, including the conversion of Casey Laulala’s solitary try, to give the Canterbury Crusaders a 19-12 win on Saturday over the Wellington Hurricanes in a Super 14 rugby final marred by dense fog. Fog settled so thickly on Jade Stadium for the inaugural final of the expanded Super 14 competition that most of the 35 000 spectators caught only fleeting glimpses of the match.

No image available
/ 20 May 2006

Crusaders book finals berth

All Blacks winger Rico Gear scored two tries as the Canterbury Crusaders beat South Africa’s Bulls 35-15 on Saturday to join the Wellington Hurricanes in the final of rugby union’s Super 14 tournament. Gear touched down twice in the first half as the Crusaders established a 16-8 halftime lead and Chris Jack, Corey Flynn and Aaron Mauger added second-half tries.