The heavyweight contenders for the Tremendous Rugby Aotearoa 2021 title went toe-to-toe with one another this afternoon at Eden Park with the hosts wanting to show their championship bona fides. While ‘the belt’ wasn’t on-the-line in the present day, quaint bragging rights and psychological momentum had been.
Either side had been laden with All Blacks, significantly the hosts who had named 4 All Black props of their matchday lineup, and that was a transparent indication that Leon MacDonald was trying to tackle his previous aspect on the set-piece and thru the center of the park. For the Crusaders, Scott Robertson welcomed again Irishman Ollie Jager to the bench and that’s the place spectacular newcomer Dallas MacLeod additionally began from.
They went into the sheds with the Crusaders holding a 17-8 lead after an enthralling first half. It was all Blues early on but as nice sides do the Crusaders scored on the again of some clever play by former Blue, Bryn Corridor, stabbing one in behind the defensive position and Jack Goodhue profitable the race to floor the ball.
The second half was all the pieces all followers hoped it could be; it was intense, it was skilful and it was two magnificent sides buying and selling blows, nevertheless it was the Crusaders who knew how one can management the important thing moments and subsequently received the day 43-27.
That is how RugbyPass rated the Crusaders.
1. Joe Moody – 7/10
Didn’t have all of it his personal approach, Nepo Laulala actually made it robust going nevertheless as all champions do, they discover a approach and ‘Huge Joe’ did that for his aspect within the set-piece in the present day and likewise contributed with some laborious work off the ball within the tight. High quality shift.
2. Codie Taylor – 8
Was in all the pieces as traditional however as class gamers do, they flip up when their groups want it essentially the most. Taylor in the present day was both scoring tries, profitable turnovers or making overlaying tackles on exterior backs. In between these moments, he was working robust at midnight areas and locations. A whole efficiency in the present day.
3. Michael Alaalatoa – 7
‘Huge Mike’ had his personal battles with Alex Hodgeman and was effectively underneath the attention of referee Paul Williams, however to his credit score, he discovered a approach to nullify his opponent and wrest again momentum within the set piece for his aspect. Nicely performed.
4. Scott Barrett – 8
Great efficiency by the skipper each in management and in his personal play. Akin to Taylor he had his massive moments be it a overlaying deal with, or profitable a turnover to stifle the Blues assault. His option to take kickable factors ensured that the Blues spent a lot of the sport chasing the sport and that call making turned out to be proper.
5. Samuel Whitelock – 8
Doesn’t know how one can put in a poor shift. His capability to disrupt the Blues lineout was his victory in the present day. This coupled with an inexhaustible work ethic across the park consolidated a terrific efficiency.
6. Ethan Blackadder – 8
In All Black squad kind. Hit laborious, ran laborious, labored laborious. Is there something you need from a 6? Topped with deal with depend with 17, missed a number of however even at 13 completions, he made an announcement in the present day.
7. Sione Havili Talitui – 7
Powerful gig carrying that 7 jersey for the Crusaders however he wore it effectively and what was pleasing is his defence and skill to decelerate play off it. He’s robust in all facets of contact however dropped off a number of tackles in the present day.
8. Cullen Grace – 7.5
Acquired a nasty head knock early however in typical trend, he simply received on with it. You can ask your self what did Cullen Grace really do in the present day? Watch the match once more and take a look at all of the work he does off the ball and also you’ll discover your reply. High quality.
9. Bryn Corridor – 7.5
Arrange the Crusaders first attempt with a beautiful show of each imaginative and prescient and talent however figuring out house behind the Blues, and having the talent to stab one in behind them permitting Jack Goodhue to attain. Was responsible of letting the strain a short while later with a misinterpret at a clearance ruck however all-in-all, a very good time out for him.
10. Richie Mo’unga – 8.5
Took the sport by the scruff of the neck and owned it. Be it try-saving tackles, cleanouts, figuring out house or scoring himself he was a giant point-of-difference participant for the Crusaders in the present day. Excellent.
11. Leicester Fainga’anuku – 7.5
Had his errors however by no means stopped trying to amend for them. Regardless of some poor dealing with, he was nonetheless an absolute menace more often than not and even pinched a turnover.
12. David Havili – 7.5
I believed his greatest sport this season. His mixture with Will Jordan opened up the Blues nevertheless it was his wish to work laborious off the ball, particularly on the breakdown ensured momentum at essential occasions. Nicely performed that man.
13. Jack Goodhue – 8
Greatest sport of the season for him, a attempt, 15 tackles and turnover – he was an absolute handful for Reiko Ioane in the present day and possibly reminded him the All Black 13 jersey may be very a lot up for grabs.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 21, 2021
14. Sevu Reece – 7.5
One other very robust efficiency by him. Was very good in assault and robust in defence. By no means went lacking in a really bodily affair.
15. Will Jordan – 6.5
Actually beginning to look again his greatest with some visionary attacking play. Injecting himself on the proper occasions. Wasn’t at all times stable underneath the excessive ball however that’s to not say he was poor in defence. But when something, defence was his concern in the present day, lacking 4 from 7 makes an attempt.
16. Brodie McAlister – N/A
On at 72.
17. George Bower – 7
On at 60 and contributed properly across the park and maintained the momentum towards an excellent Blues scrum.
18. Oliver Jager – 7
On at 68. Like Bower, contributed effectively and made a beautiful cowl deal with after monitoring laborious on the within.
19. Mitchell Dunshea – 6
Didn’t see a lot of him however received caught in.
20. Whetukamokamo Douglas – N/A
On at 71.
21. Mitchell Drummond – 7
Simply stored the momentum going off the platform laid by Bryn Corridor. Good possibility taking, by no means overplayed his hand.
22. Fergus Burke – N/A
On at 74.
23. Dallas McLeod – N/A
On at 72.
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