• Crusaders’ surge stuns Canes

    The Crusaders' three tries during their impressive second-half performance helped defeat the Hurricanes 41-15 after trailing 15-14 in their Super Rugby warm-up match in Levin on Friday.

    The tightly-contested first period saw All Black Beauden Barrett score the opening try, but the Crusaders’ young speedster Johnny McNicholl plucked a pass to dot down under the posts.

    Hurricanes newcomer Marty Banks and front-rower Ben Franks scored a try each, but McNicholl was able to get a second score to leave it a one-point game at the break.

    The Crusaders’ second half was far more effective, with Willi Heinz crossing the line, Jordan Taufua grabbing two tries, and McNicholl landing his hat-trick.

    Hurricanes – Tries: Brad Barrett, Marty Banks, Ben Franks.
    Crusaders – Tries: Johnny McNicholl (3), Jordan Taufua (2), Willi Heinz. Conversions: Tom Taylor (2), Tyler Bleyendaal (3).

    Hurricanes – 15 Marty Banks, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Alapati Leiua, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Adam Hill, 5 Mark Abbott, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
    Subs: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Ash Dixon, 18 John Schwalger, 19 Brendon Edmonds, 20 Chris Eves, 21 James Broadhurst, 22 Mark Reddish, 23 Blade Thomson, 24 Faifili Levave, 25 Ardie Savea, 26 Callum Gibbins, 27 Chris Smylie, 28 Billy Guyton, 29 James Marshall, 30 Hadleigh Parkes, 31 Cardiff Vaega, 32 Julian Savea, 33 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 34 Andre Taylor.

    Crusaders – 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Ryan Crotty (c), 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Nafi Tuitavake, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
    Subs: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Sam Whitelock, 20 Richie McCaw, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Tyler Bleyendaal, 23 Rob Thompson, 24 Zac Guildford, 25 Reynold Lee-Lo, 26 Jordan Taufua.

    Photo: Sandra Mu/Getty Images