Crusaders

Crusaders capitalise on Canes' mistakes

Will Jordan and Braydon Ennor also crossed for the visitors who moved to 24 points on the table, giving themselves some breathing room ahead of the Hurricanes (19) at the top of the New Zealand conference.

Ngani Laumape scored the Hurricanes' only try in the match in which both sides committed numerous errors while the Crusaders defence forced several turnovers when the hosts were on attack.

No excuses from Crusaders

The two-time defending champions have been beaten 20-12 by the Waratahs at the Sydney Cricket Ground, ending their winning run at 19.

"It was a tough week but look we're Crusaders, we don't make excuses we just needed to be better in a lot of parts of the game," coach Scott Robertson said.

The teams stood arm-in-arm in a circle on the pitch for a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the Christchurch attack before the start of the match.

NZ Sports minister backs discussion over Crusaders name change

The Christchurch shootings have prompted discussion over whether a the franchise's name, which is linked to the Crusades against Muslims in the 11th to 13th centuries should remain.

The Crusaders logo depicts a medieval knight swinging a sword, while horsemen often ride into the Christchurch stadium ahead of matches dressed as medieval knights.

The Crusaders have said they will discuss the matter with the Muslim community and Robertson says that's appropriate but he won't say whether the name should be changed.

Crusaders beat Blues in Super Rugby opener

The nine-time champions scored four tries to three on Saturday at Eden Park, but only clung to victory when Blues reserve five-eighth Harry Plummer missed two late shots at goal.

Making his maiden Super Rugby appearance, Plummer skewed a handy conversion attempt and then a 45m penalty shot, both inside the final seven minutes of a fiercely fought Kiwi derby.

It was a gut-wrenching result for new Blues head coach Leon MacDonald, whose team look highly competitive and capable of breaking a seven-season run of failing to reach the finals.

Crusaders prop Perry to see specialist over broken arm

Perry, 30, broke his arm while attempting a tackle in the Crusaders' 24-22 victory over the Blues in their Super Rugby opener at Eden Park on Saturday.

He had been on the field for just seven minutes before starter and fellow All Blacks prop Joe Moody was forced to return to replace him.

"He will go see a specialist on Monday to have a look at the options," Robertson said of Perry's arm. "If it's an operation, and how long that would take to recover, if it is.

Crusaders lose assistant in Welsh coach swap

Mooar has been at the Super Rugby champions for three years and helped the Crusaders to a second straight Super Rugby title in 2018 alongside head coach Scott Robertson.

He was previously head coach of the Southland Stags as well as backs coach with South African sides Eastern Province Kings and Southern Kings in the Super 15.

The 44-year-old Mooar will join Scarlets in 2019, with Pivac taking over from Gatland as Wales coach at the end of next year's World Cup in Japan.

Crusaders flanker set to join Wallabies

The 26 -year-old qualifies for Australia as he was born in Melbourne and is set to play in the June test series against Six Nations champions Ireland.

The loose forward had two stints in Sydney club rugby with Randwick and has earned almost 30 caps for the Crusaders since making his debut in 2016.

Samu switched to New Zealand's Tasman and was spotted by the Crusaders and was Player of the Year in 2015 in their development team, the Knights.

Depleted Crusaders too good for Hurricanes

The Crusaders, without at least seven front-line players through injury or suspension, controlled the ball through their forwards, punished their opponent's poor discipline and produced a bruising defence to drive them back behind the advantage line.

Lock Scott Barrett, prop Michael Alaalatoa and loose forward Heiden Bedwell-Curtis crossed for the home side, while Reed Prinsep scored a late consolation try for the visitors.

The Crusaders held a narrow 7-6 lead at halftime, but dominated the second spell to set up their ninth successive win of the season.

Crusaders says they're not a dirty team

The defending champions will be without All Black props Owen Franks and Joe Moody for Friday night's top of the table Super Rugby clash with the Hurricanes in Christchurch, after the pair both recieved two match bans for striking.

On top of those suspensions the Crusaders have had five yellow cards in their last four games, with some pundits labelling the team 'grubs'.

Mooar says the incidents have all been different and he doesn't believe they have a problem.

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Sam Whitelock to miss Blues game

Vice-captain Crotty will link with Jack Goodhue in the midfield.

The Crusaders have made six changes and one positional switch from the side that beat the Waratahs last week.

In the front row, Tim Perry makes his return from a hamstring injury and will start at loosehead prop. All Black Owen Franks also returns to the starting side this week, and Mike Alaalatoa moves to the reserves.