Dan Carter scored a brace of tries in a man of the match performance to steer the 2008 Crusaders to a 34-14 win against the 2014 Waratahs in Christchurch in our interactive Greatest Super Rugby Team tournament.
SA Rugby magazine readers dived into Game 3 of the 32-team knockout tournament, with the home side claiming a comfortable victory after 34% of voters backed them to win by more than 10 points.
Just as he was in the 2008 Super Rugby final against the same opponents, Carter was on point with both ball-in-hand and off the kicking tee, scoring 24 of his team’s points.
The Waratahs’ points came through tries from star fullback Israel Folau and hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, both converted by Wallabies flyhalf Bernard Foley.
This result eliminates the 2014 Waratahs from the tournament and sees the 2008 Crusaders advance to the round of 16, where they will face the winners of Game 4.
The Crusaders got off to a fast start, with Carter kicking two penalties to put the hosts 6-0 up, before the Waratahs gained the lead after Foley found Folau with pin-point crossfield kick to put the fullback over the tryline.
It looked as though the Waratahs would do to the Crusaders what they did in the 2014 Super Rugby final as they extended their lead when Polota-Nau went over from a driving maul to go into half-time 14-6 ahead.
Crusaders coach Robbie Deans must have had some harsh words for his troops in the changeroom as they came out firing in the second half and, a couple of minutes later, Kieran Read scored their first try after Kade Poki won possession back from the kick-off.
The second half was all Crusaders from there as Andy Ellis sniped over to see them retake the lead. Carter then turned on the style as he scored a wonderful first try by stepping his way past a couple of tacklers, chipping over Folau and winning the race to dot the ball down.
A beleaguered Waratahs tried to fight their way back into the contest, but that only backfired as Casey Lualala intercepted before passing on his inside to allow Carter to put the cherry on the cake.
2008 Crusaders – Tries: Kieran Read, Andrew Ellis, Dan Carter (2). Conversions: Carter (4). Penalties: Carter (2).
2014 Waratahs – Tries: Israel Folau, Tatafu Polota-Nau. Conversions: Bernard Foley (2).
2008 Crusaders: 15 Leon MacDonald, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Scott Hamilton, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andrew Ellis, 8 Mose Tuilai’I, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Kieran Read, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Greg Somerville, 2 Ti’I Paulo, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Subs: 16 Steve Fualau, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Reuben Thorne, 19 Nasi Manu, 20 Kahn Fotuali’I, 21 Stephen Brett, 22 Sean Maitland.
Coach: Robbie Deans.
2014 Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, ,8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Stephen Hoiles, 5 Jacques Potgieter, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Subs: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Mitchell Chapman, 21 Pat McCutcheon, 22 Brendan McKibban, 23 Peter Betham.
Coach: Michael Cheika.