Super Rugby

All Blacks captain Read hurt in comeback

Read was making his first appearance this year after an extended off-season but went down for a lengthy spell of treatment on his right leg after about 20 minutes of the first half at Wellington Regional Stadium.

He limped to the next play, a lineout down field where captain Sam Whitelock called him as the target, and saw out the rest of the first half but was replaced at half-time by coach Scott Robertson.

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.

McReight's debut another bonus for Reds from Brumbies win

McReight, the Australian under-20 player of the year in 2018, is tipped as a star of the future set to become a fixture in the Reds backrow.

The former Brisbane Grammar student has been setting competitions alight since making a switch from the centres to become a workaholic openside flanker who became an Australian schoolboys representative at 16.

While he was named in the Reds' squad for the opening match of the season against the Highlanders in Dunedin, McReight did not play and had to wait for his moment.

"It was tough," McReight said of missing out.

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.

Blues coaches backing SBW trip

The Muslim All Blacks midfielder's trip south means he will miss the Auckland-based franchise's Super Rugby match against the Highlanders at Eden Park on Friday night.

Assistant coach Tom Coventry said the coaches thought it would be a good idea, even before Williams made the request.

"We were going to ask Sonny if he'd like to make the decision to go.

"We were all in agreeance, it was a pretty short conversation.

"We all knew how hard he took it, so it was a simple decision to make."

Williams to miss Blues game to provide support in Christchurch

A proud Muslim, Williams posted to social media on Sunday night saying he would be in Christchurch "later in the week to show love and give donations to the Christchurch Masjids for the people effected in this tragedy".

The Blues confirmed the 51-test midfielder would not play against the Highlanders at Eden Park.
The match would count as one of the two Super Rugby fixtures he must miss as an All Blacks player ahead of this year's World Cup.

Williams' confirmation of his trip to Christchurch followed an emotional video he posted on Friday after the terror attacks.

Crusaders hold off on name change

In light of the Mosque shootings in Christchurch, there have been suggestions that the Super Rugby team should change its name.

The franchise said they'll take on board all concerns.

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.

In a statement the franchise says it understands the concerns that have been raised but believes now is not the time to discuss the matter.

Ioane's four tries propel Blues to first win

The home side held on for a 28-20 victory last night, as they marked last week's death of former prop Mike Tamoaieta with his player number 276 stitched onto the front of their jerseys.

The Sunwolves had won their first match away from home last week against the Chiefs and never let the Blues get too far ahead, but were hampered by second-half yellow cards to fullback Semisi Masirewa and replacement hooker Nathan Vella.

Reece gets Crusaders start after domestic violence charge

The 22-year-old will make his Crusaders debut in the match against the Chiefs in Christchurch on Saturday night, five months after the District Court in Hamilton fined him $750 and discharged him without conviction for the assault in July.

The Fiji-born back had initially signed to play with Irish side Connacht last year, but the club tore up the contract in the wake of the court case.

Robertson said he had "never" had any concerns about Reece, who was called into the Crusaders' pre-season camp after being spurned by New Zealand's other four Super Rugby franchises.

Kieran Read to miss more time for Crusaders

Assistant coach Jason Ryan has revealed that the All Blacks captain will miss his original deadline for a return to Super Rugby, which was originally set at four weeks.

"[Read] is two or three, probably, weeks away. We are not 100 per cent sure yet," Ryan said.

"We will just see how he goes. He is back into his training, and so forth. We are pretty confident."

That could see him sidelined until the Crusaders' clash with the Hurricanes in Wellington on March 29.