Crusaders

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.

Kieran Read back with the Crusaders

Read had surgery on his spine in December and is unlikely to be available until after the June international window.

His last game was for the All Blacks against Scotland in November and pain in his leg led to him having surgery.

The Crusaders assistant coach Ronan O'Gara says it was great to see Read back with the side.

Crusaders get help from league mentor

The Melbourne Storm mentor was in the Crusaders' coaching box at AAMI Park on Friday night as the defending champions crushed the Melbourne Rebels 55-10.

Despite playing different codes, the two title-holding clubs, who share a long history of success, have formed a tight bond.

The teams had lunch together on Thursday and watched each others training sessions while Bellamy was given the honour of presenting the Crusaders with their playing jerseys before the game.

Brumbie cited for high shot on Dagg

The former Western Force player was sent to the sin-bin in the first half for a high hit on the Crusaders' Israel Dagg, who was taken from the field and failed a head injury assessment.

The citing commissioner believed Peni should have been shown a red card for the incident upon reviewing the match.

The nature of the offence is a player must not tackle an opponent dangerously.

Peni will face the SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee on Monday.

The Brumbies lost the game 21-8 and slumped to fourth in the Australian conference with a 3-6 record.

Franks and Dagg finally back for Crusaders

The pair have been named in the Crusaders starting lineup for Saturday night's match against the Japanese side the Sunwolves.

Prop Franks makes his return from an Achilles injury and Dagg a knee injury with the pair not having played since September.

Dagg will start on the right wing.

Regular skipper All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock has been rested with fellow with fellow All Black Matt Todd to lead the side.

The Chiefs have made four changes to their starting lineup for their match against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Saturday night.

Crusaders outclass Jaguares

The visitors scored six tries to two, including doubles to wingers George Bridge and Manasa Mataele, while five-eighth Mitch Hunt scored 13 points.

The bonus-point win lifts the Crusaders to one point behind the Lions at the top of the overall standings through eight rounds.

They narrowly lead the New Zealand conference from the Hurricanes and the Chiefs.

A third-straight win was the Crusaders' eighth in a row at an offshore venue.

The only team to have won a final overseas, the Crusaders have built their eight titles on an ability to travel.

Crusaders beat Bulls in rugby arm wrestle

Cold, wet conditions stripped Friday's game of any colour with six of the seven tries scored from close range in a match dominated by the packs.

It was good enough for the Crusaders to put losses to the Highlanders and Hurricanes behind them, a rare double setback after marching through 2017 with only one loss.

The Bulls slumped to a fourth-straight defeat, paying the price for their lack of clinical finishing, having edged the hosts in territory and possession.

The Crusaders led by a flattering 21-7 scoreline at halftime.

Whitelock and Crotty back for Crusaders

Coach Scott Robertson has made five changes to the starting line-up from the side that lost to the Highlanders in Dunedin last Saturday night.

Both Whitelock and Crotty suffered head knocks in the Crusaders loss to the Hurricanes in Wellington two weeks ago and missed the Highlanders match.

Prop Tim Perry returns to start pushing Wyatt Crockett to the bench.

Flanker Billy Harmon will earn his second start replacing All Black Matt Todd, who took a knock to the ribs and will be rested.