Richie McCaw’s Crusaders too strong for Ben Smith’s Highlanders


Rico Gear scored a hat-trick of tries to information the 2005 Crusaders to a 28-18 victory over the 2015 Highlanders in Recreation 8 of the Biggest Tremendous Rugby Crew match.

The interactive match places readers on the match controls to resolve which of Tremendous Rugby’s most prolific contenders was the best within the historical past of the southern-hemisphere competitors.

SA Rugby journal readers dived into Recreation 8 of the 32-team knockout match, with the away facet claiming the victory after 28% of voters backed them to win by between six and 10 factors in Dunedin.

The influential Gear, an instrumental a part of the Crusaders’ cost in direction of the 2005 Tremendous Rugby title, showcased his expertise on this conflict, the place he carved the 2015 Highlanders to shreds.

The consequence eliminates the 2015 Highlanders from the match whereas the 2005 Crusaders advance to the spherical of 16, the place they’ll face the 1997 Blues, finishing the primary half of the bracket.

A star-studded Crusaders workforce that had gained 9 of their 11 video games on their method to the title proved far too sturdy for coach Jamie Joseph’s plucky Highlanders facet.

Crusaders captain Richie McCaw had a discipline day on the breakdown, whereas flyhalf Dan Carter managed the sport excellently by his boot, giving his facet loads of territory.

The 2 sides went blow for blow within the first half as Waisake Naholo opened the scoring with a superb strive for the Highlanders, earlier than the Crusaders responded by Gear’s first strive.

Lima Sopoaga then knocked over a few penalties to offer the Highlanders a 13-7 lead, earlier than Gear’s second put the Crusaders 14-13 up on the break.

The Highlanders have been quickest out of the blocks within the second half as Liam Coltman scored from a maul. Nevertheless, from there the Crusaders took management as Reuben Thorne buried his approach over the road from shut vary, earlier than Gear accomplished his hat-trick with a sensational third, because the Crusaders countered from a poor Highlanders clearance.

2015 Highlanders – Tries: Waisake Naholo, Liam Coltman. Conversion: Lima Sopoaga. Penalties: Sopoaga (2).
2005 Crusaders –  Tries: Rico Gear (3), Reuben Thorne. Conversions: Dan Carter (4).

2015 Highlanders – 15 Ben Smith (c), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Honeck, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Emmonds.
Subs: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown,  18 Ross Geldenhuys,  19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Shane Christie, 22 Fumiaki Tanaka, 23 Marty Banks.

Coach: Jamie Joseph

2005 Crusaders – 15 Leon MacDonald, 14 Rico Gear, 13 Caleb Ralph, 12 Aaron Mauger, 11 Scott Hamilton, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Justin Marshall, 8 Mose Tuiali’i, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Reuben Thorne, 5 Ross Filipo, 4 Chris Jack, 3 Greg Somerville, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Dave Hewett.
Subs: 16 Tone Kopelani, 17 Campbell Johnstone, 18 Sam Broomhall, 19 Johnny Leo’o, 20 Jamie Nutbrown, 21 Andrew Mehrtens, 22 Casey Laulala.

Coach: Robbie Deans


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