Super Rugby Aotearoa

Crusaders hold on to beat Chiefs in wet Christchurch

Will Jordan
Will Jordan
Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

The Crusaders have made it two from two as they defeated the Chiefs 18-13 in a cold and wet Super Rugby Aotearoa clash at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch on Sunday.

As it happened | Crusaders v Chiefs 

In wet, greasy conditions, Will Jordan scored twice for the Crusaders to give them two wins from two matches and extended their unbeaten home record to 35. 

The Blues, who have played an extra game, notched their third win on Saturday when they held off a hard-finishing Highlanders 27-24. 

The Chiefs have now lost three from three, the Hurricanes have lost two from two and the Highlanders have a win and a loss. 

It was a battle of attrition in Christchurch with the tone set midweek when Crusaders prop Joe Moody talked of a "deep-seated hatred" of the Chiefs, which gave visiting coach Warran Gatland all the ammunition he needed for his pre-match pep talk. 

With the constant rain forcing handling errors and dictating a bruising forward clash with lots of kicking by the backs, the result came down to the Crusaders capitalising on the two opportunities that went their way.

"We knew it was going to be a confrontational game and we had to make sure the breakdown was really clean," Crusaders captain Codie Taylor said.

"A young fella like Will Jordan who's on his toes and just wants to get involved and it's awesome to see the boys backing their skills especially in conditions like this."

Chiefs captain Sam Cane called it a "classic arm wrestle" which came down to the Crusaders making the most of key moments.

"There wasn't much between the two sides and credit to the Crusaders, a couple of opportunistic tries, and a couple of moments can really swing a game," Cane said.

The Chiefs, who beat the Crusaders earlier this year before the coronavirus pandemic brought a halt to global sport, could claim to have had the better of the first half territorially.

But, they could not break the Crusaders defence and their sole reward was a Damian McKenzie penalty. 

The Crusaders, however, were rewarded from a lineout steal when the Chiefs were on attack. 

Sevu Reece beat McKenzie in the air to reclaim Richie Mo'unga's clearing kick and sent Jordan away for the try. 

Jordan's second try early in the second half came from another Chiefs error when an Aaron Cruden pass went into touch. 

While the Chiefs switched off believing there would be a reset for a lineout, Reece took a quick throw-in to Jordan rushing up from fullback and he ran 30 metres untouched to the line.

The Chiefs bagged 10 points early in the final quarter with a converted try to Sean Wainui and another McKenzie penalty but could not find a way through the Crusaders in the closing 10 minutes.

Scorers:

Crusaders

Tries: Will Jordan (2)

Conversion: Richie Mo'unga

Penalties: Richie Mo'unga (2)

Chiefs

Try: Sean Wainui

Conversion: Damian McKenzie

Penalties: McKenzie (2)

Teams:

Crusaders

15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Cullen Grace, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor (captain), 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Brodie McAlister, 17 George Bower, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 David Havili, 23 Leicester Faingaanuku

Chiefs

15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Solomon Alaimalo, 13 Quinn Tupaea, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 4 Mitchell Brown, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Aidan Ross

Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Reuben O’Neill, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Lisati Milo-Harris, 22 Kaleb Trask, 23 Tumua Manu