Sport Union Crusaders in tight rugby win over Stormers

Crusaders in tight rugby win over Stormers

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The Crusaders scraped a 14-13 win over the Stormers in Christchurch to post their first victory of the Super Rugby season and maintain a proud 13-year record.

A penalty to five-eighth Tom Taylor gave the Crusaders a hard-fought and relieving victory after they had trailed 13-6 going into the final 10 minutes.

The win was their 33rd in a row on home soil against South African teams since 2001. It also maintained a perfect nine-from-nine record at home against the Stormers.

However, this was among the toughest challenges they had faced, as the visitors effectively absorbed everything the Crusaders threw at them with staunch defence while also launching some effective counter strikes.

Each team scored one try after the scores were locked 3-3 at halftime following penalties to Taylor and Stormers counterpart Demetri Catrakilis.

A second Stormers penalty put them in front before inside centre Damian de Allende scored a blistering try from 60m out after a break and chip ahead from midfield partner Jean de Villiers.

The Crusaders, who had lacked potency in attack for much of the game, found another gear to score through debut replacement centre Kieron Fonotia in the 71st minute.

Taylor missed the wide conversion but his third penalty and some desperate late defence proved enough.

The seven-time champion Crusaders are still struggling for their best, having opened their season with losses to the Chiefs, 18-10, and Blues, 35-24.

They had an effective scrum but an unusually loose lineout and were again guilty of drifting sideways in attack and some poor handling.

The Stormers were highly effective at slowing down ruck ball or turning it over and were unlucky not to secure a second successive win after beating the visiting Hurricanes 19-18 last weekend.