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Crusaders
Crusaders
21
Tries
Nemani Nadolo (72,16)
Penalties
Daniel Carter (66), Colin Slade (24,11)
Drops
none
Cons
Daniel Carter (74)

13
Blues
Blues

Tries
Frank Halai (19)
Penalties
Ihaia West (30,14)
Drops
none
Cons
Ihaia West (20)


80'
Full Time
FULL-TIME: CRUSADERS 21-13 BLUES

80'
Penalty to the hosts, taking the man with out the ball as the cut-out pass fooled Peter Saili. The hooter goes, and the game is over. The Blues will take nothing, not even a bonus point, from this cracking game of rugby. Their season looks to be over, but the Crusaders march on towards the knockout stages.

77'
Carter slices through the Blues midfield again, but he didn't give the inside ball that would surely have resulted in a try.

76'
It's a Super Rugby debut for Scott Barrett, who wound up with a spot on the bench courtesy of Sam Whitelock's injury. He replaces Tupou, who has played very well.

76'
Conversion
CONVERSION, CRUSADERS, CARTER! 21-13 It's Dan Carter with the step and the offload to put the Fijian over. And the All Black great knocks over the conversion, it's a two-score job for the Blues now.

74'
Try
TRY, CRUSADERS, NADOLO! 19-13 Lovely run from McNicholl at first-receiver from the scrum, and the Crusaders pushing for what would be a clinching try. They've got it! A super offload and a flop over the line for - who else - Nemani Nadolo! Game over, surely!

72'
Penalty Crusaders, Carter once again punts downfield. The Blues have to win here, effectively, to keep their playoff hopes alive. They've got eight minutes to pull this one from the fire, trailing by just a point.

71'
This is breathless stuff now as the Blues come roaring forward and look good until Moala loses it into touch. Excellent clearing kick away down into the away half. Crockett and Fonotia off, Moody and Taylor on for the Crusaders. Francis Saili replaces Piutau, who's had a quiet game, and skipper Braid comes off for Peter Saili.

69'
Penalty
PENALTY, CRUSADERS, CARTER! 14-13 No problem for DC, and the hosts are finally in front again. 13 to play. Laulala replaces Franks.

67'
And they have another penalty, right in front of the posts as Faumuina fails to roll away from a difficult position. Easy opportunity for Carter to put the Crusaders in front.

65'
Now play begins to open up, and the Crusaders drive forward and win a penalty just inside Blues territory. Carter punts down into the 22.

63'
Luke Whitelock is on for Read, and the hosts are on the ball, but it's super interception from substitute Triggs for the Blues! Well done McNicholl and Nadolo to mop up and clear.

60'
The Blues again come rumbling forward, but again they can't find a killer touch in the home 22. Big defence.

58'
Slade smashed and prone after a huge Nonu charge in midfield. He's off for McNicholl, and we reckon he'll undergo a head injury assessment.

57'
Slade puts a high ball out on the full as the errors and infringements continue to flow. Much more disjointed second half.

55'
The Blues again up to within five metres of the home line, but Faumuina is stripped of possession. Crusaders back on the ball now on halfway.

52'
There really is nothing else, and the errors are breaking things up a little. Crusaders throw-in via replacement Flynn not straight, and the Blues have the scrum now.

50'
Blues rumbling their way forward, but they spill round the fringes and the Crusaders have it back at the set-piece.

47'
The scrum is a real battle today, penalties going both ways. Crusaders on top in the tight, at the moment.

44'
Crusaders now with a scrum just inside Blues territory, the visitors' defence looking very good.

41'
Kick Off
We're back underway again, and it's Read and Nadolo combining to great effect up the left hand side. Just fails to come off.

40'
Half Time
HALF-TIME: CRUSADERS 11-13 BLUES

40'
Half Time
Slade wide with another penalty right on the hooter, and so an entertaining, topsy-turvy half of rugby comes to an end. The Blues have the advantage.

36'
Slade misses a penalty from out wide on the left after the Crusaders make a mess of the Blues scrum.

34'
The Crusaders this time come sweeping downfield and almost get over in the corner through Crotty.

31'
Penalty
PENALTY, BLUES, WEST! 11-13 Good refereeing from Glen Jackson as Crotty comes into a maul from a very, very offside position. West restores the Blues' narrow lead. Super game so far.

30'
Decent attack from the Blues, but again they go for the grubber through, and again, it's ineffective. Dagg thumps it clear, and the Blues' midfield is hopelessly disrupted. They're out of jail thanks to Nadolo's supposed high tackle.

26'
Moala replaces Halai for the visitors, who injured his ankle scoring that 90-metre try.

25'
Penalty
PENALTY, CRUSADERS, SLADE! 11-10 Slade puts the hosts back in front as the Blues infringe in their own 22.

23'
The Crusaders attacking with purpose and width, that man Nadolo involved aplenty, but bundled into touch in the 22. Thrilling start.

21'
Conversion
CONVERSION, BLUES, WEST! 8-10 Suddenly, the Blues have the lead.

20'
Try
TRY, BLUES, HALAI! 8-8 Astonishing stuff! The Crusaders held up on the line, great running from Crotty and Bird. And from the try-line, Halai sprints up, intercepts the pass and goes under the sticks at the other end. What a turnaround, what brilliant work from Halai.

18'
Slade's conversion is pushed across the face of the posts by the fearsome Christchurch breeze.

17'
Try
TRY, CRUSADERS, NADOLO! 8-3 He's there! Cleverly kept his right arm airborne while touching the ball down with the left. Great finish from the big man.

16'
Nadolo is in at the corner - it looked like a try for all the world, did he stay in the field of play? We go upstairs...

15'
Penalty
PENALTY, BLUES, WEST! 3-3 The 22-year-old levels the scores from in front of the sticks.

14'
Within a minute, though, the Blues work their way back into the home 22 and win a penalty as Slade strays offside.

13'
Penalty
PENALTY, CRUSADERS, SLADE! 3-0 No problem for Slade from straight in front, Crusaders take the lead.

11'
And now a penalty opportunity for the Crusaders as Braid fails to roll away. Chance for the first points of the match, and it's Slade, not Carter, who lines it up.

9'
Great interplay between Luatua and Braid as the back-row forward storm into the 22. Nonu spoils things a little with an overdone kick that rolls into touch in-goal.

6'
Early penalty for the Blues allows West to kick down into home territory and the visitors can attack.

4'
Nemani Nadolo is a monster. The Fijian powers down the touchline, through three tackles and throws an inside ball to Ellis. The move breaks down metres short when Owen Franks loses possession. Big chance.

2'
Early kicking exchange and Visinia drops one into the hosts' 22.

0'
Kick Off
The late news in Christchurch as the teams emerge is that Sam Whitelock is not fit to play, he's replaced by Jimmy Tupou. We're underway!

0'
Charles Piutau returns for the Blues as part of a blockbusting backline, with the duel between Slade and Ihaia West at 10 a crucial one. It's an all-All Black front-row of Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu and Charlie Faumuina - who scored last week.

0'
Israel Dagg and the prolific Nemani Nadolo are back for the hosts, with Kieran Read also starting at number eight. Colin Slade keeps his spot at fly-half with Dan Carter at 12.

0'
Welcome
Hello, and welcome to live coverage of today's crunch New Zealand Conference clash between the Crusaders and the Blues in Christchurch. We'll be back soon with team news.


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