Super Rugby Pacific: Crusaders slump to fourth straight loss

It’s going from bad to worse for the Crusaders.

The Super Rugby Pacific defending champions have suffered a fourth straight loss for the first time in the franchise’s illustrious history.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes remain undefeated at the top of the table following the dramatic 14-10 win in Christchurch.

Replacement lock Justin Sangster scored the match-winner in the 77th minute and with the Crusaders given one final shot at victory, former All Black Owen Franks put a shoulder onto a Hurricane’s player’s head to see the collapse of the once formidable franchise continue.

Skipper David Havili admitted it’s a frustrating time.

“We are trying really hard, it’s just not sticking. We gave ourselves a chance in the contest tonight and couldn’t really finish it off, the boys have got to stick tight, we are up for another big battle next weekend.”

It’s a daunting prospect awaiting the side, who meet the Blues at Eden Park next Saturday.

“They are trying their guts out, it’s a tough one to take, but we have got a young group willing to turn up each day and get better and that’s what we are going to do,” Havili told Sky Sport.

Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara was relishing in what is just the seventh win for his side in Christchurch.

Cam Roigard of the Hurricanes during the Super Rugby Pacific match, Crusaders Vs Hurricanes, at the Apollo Projects Stadium.

“It’s a tough place to win, I know they haven’t started the season the way they wanted to, but they are still a force to be reckoned with and getting a win over them down here is important for our season.”

Neither Jordie nor Scott Barrett were available for their sides on what was a drizzly evening in Christchurch.

The Hurricanes scored the opening try after 15 minutes, as Cam Roigard popped it up for a storming Tyrel Lomax to crash over from short range.

Both Brett Cameron and Riley Hohepa pushed penalty attempts wide to keep the score at 7-0 at halftime, though it didn’t reflect the dominance the Hurricanes had over the hosts.

A huge reprieve came for the Crusaders five minutes after the break.

Roigard appeared to have scored a second for the Canes after he streaked 70 metres up field, however replays showed he had knocked the ball forward out of Willie Heinz’s hands, and the Crusaders dodged a bullet.

The Crusaders were finally able to string some phases together and started to ask questions of the Hurricane’s.

The relentless pressure would prove too much, Cullen Grace finally cracking the Hurricane’s desperate defence to lock the scores at 7-all.

With ten minutes to play, Hohepa put the home side in front for the first time 10-7.

Cameron had the chance to even the honours, but once again his attempt went wide of the upright.

Jamie Hannah was then sent to the sin bin for repeated infringements as his side was camped on their try line with time ticking away.

A Hurricane’s attacking scrum saw the Crusaders penalised, with replacement Du’Plessis Kirifi opting for a quick tap.

Sangster picked and went from the following phase, doing just enough to get the ball on the grass.

The Crusaders recovered the kick off to give themselves a final shot at the win, before Franks’ brain-fade ended any hopes of a late miracle.


Hurricanes 14 (Lomax, Sangster, tries, Cameron 2 cons)

Crusaders 10 (Grace, tries, Hohepa 1 con, 1 pen)

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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