Crusaders get it right on the road
Published 05/04/2014 | 19:42
The Crusaders broke Super Rugby's away-day hoodoo with a comfortable 28-7 win over the Lions in Johannesburg.
No South African side has claimed a win in New Zealand or Australia in 2014, and the reverse was true for teams travelling the other way from Oceania until Saturday's contest at Ellis Park.
The Crusaders had won four of their last five matches against the Lions before this latest meeting so would have been confident of a good result, and did so in emphatic fashion as they scored three tries to the Lions' one and kept the hosts off the scoresheet for 50 minutes.
The Crusaders' 6-0 lead at the break came courtesy of brace of Colin Slade penalties, but it was not until the second period that the contest truly caught alight - with the visitors doing the bulk of the pressing.
After camping out inside the Lions' 22 in the early second-half exchanges, the Crusaders finally made the breakthrough when captain Ryan Crotty burst through a gap in the backline to touch down.
The Lions briefly rallied with centre Lionel Mapoe tocuhing down in the corner in the 51st minute after good interplay in the build-up.
Crotty was denied a second try when the television match official ruled he had grounded the ball short of the line, but within moments Israel Dagg booted a penalty as the Crusaders' lead increased to nine points.
Scrum-half Andy Ellis made the win safe when he touched down from a turnover ball before a last-minute Kieron Fonotia score added some gloss.