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Slade seals victory for Crusaders

AAP
Sunday, April 20, 2014

Update: 1:42AM THE boot of Colin Slade has carried the Crusaders to an 18-17 upset win over defending champions the Chiefs in a tough Super Rugby clash in Hamilton last night.

Slade slotted six penalty goals at Waikato Stadium as the visitors avenged their narrow defeat to the Chiefs in Christchurch in February.

The result lifted the Crusaders into the competition's top six and put them second in the New Zealand conference behind the Chiefs.

Both sides showed plenty of resilient defence in a tough arm-wrestle in conditions made greasy by some heavy rain.

The Crusaders produced a particularly impressive passage early in the second half, when they withstood 26 successive phases, including numerous dabs at their goalline, before forcing a knock-on.

That brought the reward at the other end of Slade's fourth penalty goal to close the margin to 17-12.

Slade's next two penalty attempts each hit a post, but he nailed the two after to put his team back in front with nine minutes to go.

The Chiefs came back with a spirited finish and five-eighth Gareth Anscombe had the chance to snatch victory after the hooter, but his penalty shot from inside his own half fell just short.

The opening spell included three concussion checks in quick succession after Chiefs No.8 Liam Squire and halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow and influential Crusaders skipper Kieran Read left the field.

Kerr-Barlow came back on, only to be replaced at halftime, while Squire and Read stayed off.

Squire was left groggy in the 28th minute by the shoulder of opposition lock Dominic Bird, who was yellow-carded for a no-arm tackle.

All Blacks No.8 Read was then hit in heavy contact, with Kerr-Barlow among the tacklers, while making a typically strong run with the ball.

The departures and the yellow card led to a momentum shift as the Chiefs went from 9-3 down to take the lead 12-9 off Anscombe's boot.

They then had fullback Tom Marshall dot down in the corner just before halftime to open out an eight-point advantage.





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