The 2002 Crusaders continued their unbeaten run by thrashing Jake White’s Brumbies 35-10 in Game 10 of the interactive Greatest Super Rugby Team tournament in Christchurch.
SA Rugby magazine readers dived into Game 10 of the 32-team knockout tournament, with the home side claiming the victory after 69% of voters backed them to win in Christchurch.
The result eliminates the 2013 Brumbies from the tournament, while the 2002 Crusaders advance to the round of 16, where they will face the winner of Game 9, the John Smit-captained 2007 Sharks.
The 2013 Brumbies, under the coaching of Jake White, came into the match looking to avenge their 2002 predecessors, who were beaten in that season’s final by the same opponents.
However, in a rather one-sided affair, the true quality of the unbeaten 2002 Crusaders shone through. Winger Caleb Ralph scored a first-half brace, both converted by Andrew Mehrtens to give the home side a 14-0 lead at the break.
The Brumbies threatened a comeback when Henry Speight went over in the corner early in the second half, with centre Christian Leali’ifano nailing the conversion and a later penalty to reduce the deficit to four points.
From there, it was all Crusaders, as No 8 Scott Robertson scored two tries that were sandwiched in between centre Aaron Mauger’s effort, with Mehrtens completing a perfect game off the kicking tee, for a 35-10 victory.
2002 Crusaders – Tries: Caleb Ralph (2), Scott Robertson (2), Aaron Mauger. Conversions: Andrew Mehrtens (5).
2013 Brumbies – Try: Henry Speight. Conversion: Christian Leali’ifano. Penalty: Leali’ifano
2002 Crusaders –15 Leon MacDonald, 14 Marika Vunibaka, 13 Mark Robinson, 12 Aaron Mauger, 11 Caleb Ralph, 10 Andrew Mehrtens, 9 Justin Marshall, 8 Scott Robertson, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Chris Jack, 5 Norm Maxwell, 4 Reuben Thorne (c), 3 Greg Feek, 2 Mark Hammett, 1 Greg Somerville.
Subs: 16 David Hewitt, 17 Corey Flynn, 18 Sam Broomhall, 19 Johnny Leo’o, 20 Ben Hurst, 21 Daryl Gibson, 22 Ben Blair.
Coach: Robbie Deans
2013 Brumbies – 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Leali’ifano, 11 Clyde Rathbone, 10 Matt To’omua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 George Smith, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Subs: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Fotu Auelua, 19 Colby Fainga’a, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Andrew Smith, 22 Joe Tomane.
Coach: Jake White