BNZ Crusaders clinch draw in Kieran Read's 150th game
- Created: 03 May 2019
They left it to after the full time siren, but the BNZ Crusaders have salvaged a 21-21 draw with the Sharks in Kieran Read’s 150th at Christchurch Stadium.
The Sharks were relentless in defence for the entire Super Rugby encounter. They had clearly done their homework on the Crusaders and didn’t allow dangerous players like Sevu Reece and Braydon Ennor to strike. All Sharks points came from the handy boot of first five Curwin Bosch. He kicked seven from nine penalties, including one from 50 metres out. It was Mitchell Hunt who clinched the draw, scoring for the Crusaders after 80 minutes and kicking a crucial conversion. It was a messy first half in Christchurch, with both sides struggling with the dewy conditions. The Sharks defence was solid and they really tested the home side in the opening stages. Both sides struggled to get going, with plenty of errors and penalties making it a start-stop affair.
Codie Taylor scored the only try of the first half, the Crusaders going 13 phases, before the hooker scored against the post. Mitchell Hunt nailed the conversion. As it was for the whole game, Bosch’s boot made the difference at the break. He missed his first penalty but slotted his next three giving the Sharks a 9-7 buffer at half time. The Crusaders lost fullback Will Jordan midway through the opening stanza. He limped from the field and was replaced by Tim Bateman, while Sharks hooker Kerron van Vuuren also left before the break after failing an HIA.
The penalty count didn’t sit favourably for the home side. After 50 minutes they had conceded nine, while the Sharks had only conceded three. However, in the final play the Sharks brought their penalty count to 10. Read was impressive in his milestone match for the Crusaders. He passed a good ball to Jack Goodhue who ran a great line towards the post to score. He also won a scrum penalty in the dying stages, which eventually led to the Crusaders' final try. Despite the draw, the Crusaders unbeaten streak at home continues to 26. That equals their record set during the period between 2004-2007.
Scorers: BNZ Crusaders 21 (Codie Taylor, Jack Goodhue, Mitchell Hunt try; Mitchell Hunt 3 con) Sharks 21 (Curwin Bosch 7 pens)
Match report courtesy of www.superrugby.co.nz