The Crusaders have won six of their last seven Super Rugby matches against the Western Force (L1), including their last four in succession – their longest winning run against the Aussies in the history of the competition.
The Crusaders won their recent Super Rugby away match against the Western Force (20-19, Rd 7 2016).
- Scott Robertson’s side will be aiming for back-to-back away wins for the first time versus the Force.
- The Western Force have lost their last seven Super Rugby matches at HBF Park; the last time they went on a longer losing run at home was a 10-match span from May 2015 to July 2016.
- The Crusaders will be looking to avoid back-to-back defeats in Super Rugby for the first time since March 2018, following their 24-21 loss to the NSW Waratahs (30 April 2022).
- The Force have lost their last 22 Super Rugby matches in succession against New Zealand opposition, their longest losing run; their last victory against a Kiwi team came in Round 6, 2014 (18-15 v Chiefs).
- The Saders have retained possession on 33 kicks in play, the most of any team in the competition, and 10 more than the Force (23).
- The Force has stolen 19 lineouts, four more than any other team in the competition, seven more than the Crusaders (12).
- The Crusaders have gained 102 metres per game from kick returns, the most of any team, and 50 per game more than the Force (52).
Players to watch
- Manasa Mataele has been directly involved in six tries in his last four appearances in Super Rugby Pacific (4 tries, 2 try assists); this will be his first game against the Crusaders, for whom he played 32 games in the competition from 2017 to 2021.
- Will Jordan has gained 102 metres per 80 minutes, the most of any player in the competition (min. 15 minutes played).
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEP! We are underway in Perth
3.00: The Crusaders win a free kick from a scrum.
4.00: Oh dear, Richie Mo’unga starts running without taping the ball giving the Force an attacking scrum inside the visitor’s 22.
6.00: PENALTY! An early engagement allows Jake Strachan to open the scoring. 3-0
9.00: a couple of handling errors by each side ends with the hosts scrumming on halfway.
11.00: Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, like Nic White for the Brumbies, kicks a raking grubber for a 50/22.
12.00: TRY! Byron Ralston’s mistake leads to the Crusaders taking a quick-tap penalty that ends in five. Leicester Fainga’anuku’s angled run and swivel sees him dot down for his 14th Super Rugby try. 3-5
13.00: MISS! Richie Mo’unga misses his conversion. 3-5
15.00: Kyle Godwin picks up Fainga’anuku’s dropped pass, and begins a counter-attack into the Crusaders’ 22.
16.00: TRY! The Force goes through the phases before Strachan latches onto Kyle Godwin’s grubber and beats Fainga’anuku to the ball to score. 8-5
17.00: MISS! Strachan cannot convert his try. 8-5
20.00: This is an entertaining match at HBF Park. The Force is looking dangerous on the counter-attack, and the Crusaders are conceding needless penalties as the hosts keep up the intensity.
22.00: The Force gets the cleanout wrong at the breakdown, and they lose a second good opportunity from an attacking lineout on the Saders’ line. You just know that it is going to be costly.
25.00: A lot of handling errors from the Kiwis, but the Aussies are not punishing their guests.
27.00: Western Force gets another turnover to clear the danger near their 22. It’s a bit of a stop-start affair in Perth, with both teams making a lot of mistakes.
28.00: Crusaders have an attacking scrum on the Force’s try line.
28.00: TRY! Richie Mo’unga dances around Byron Ralston before sucking in Strachan. Mo’unga draws the fullback to put Fainga’anuku away for a spectacular one-handed diving finish by the flag.
30.00: MISS! Mo’unga cannot convert. 8-10
32.00: Crusaders have a lineout inside the opposition’s 22 after a poor clearance.
33.00: Excellent work by the forwards at the breakdown to win a penalty for the hosts.
36.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga finds his radar. 8-13
38.00: Fainga’anuku is tackled out near the flag by Byron Ralston, but the Saders have a scrum.
39.00: The home team’s supporters boo the ref after he calls the force for offside on their try line.
40.00: TRY! Bryn Hall goes left from the centrefield scrum to Will Jordan. Jordan draws the defender before floating a long cutout pass to Fainga’anuku for the winger’s hat-trick. 8-18
42.00: MISS! The kick is well wide. 8-18
The halftime score was Western Force 8 Crusaders 18
41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway down under.
44.00: TRY! Issak Fines-Leleiwasa goes close. Fergus Lee-Warner picks up the ball and snipes around the base of the ruck to score. 13-18
45.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 15-18
47.00: TRY! Pablo Matera takes Bryn Hall’s flat pass and goes through three defenders to score next to the poles. 15-23
47.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 15-25
49.00: TRY! Bridge combined with Cullen Grace to set up a ruck on the try line. Hall recycled quickly to Jordan, who cut inisde the flatfooted Andrew Ready to score. 15-30
51.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 15-32
54.00: Godwin looks to have knocked on, but the ref missed the error. The Force plays on before winning a penalty in the 22.
56.00: The Force botch another two attacking lineouts.
59.00: TRY! Jordan, like a thief in the night, chases Bridge’s chip-kick and plucks the ball away from the covering Ralston and Godwin, and steals in for a brace. 15-37
60.00: CONVERSION! the kick is good. 15-39
64.00: The Force have not been without their chances; however, they cannot break through the white wall.
69.00: TRY! Ethan Blackadder’s linebreak sets up Jordan for his treble! 15-44
71.00: CONVERSION! The kick is once again good. 15-46
76.00: Jordan almost has four, but he has the ball knocked out his hand inside the 22.
78.00: NO TRY! Chay Fihaki’s worldy of a finish is chalked off by the TMO. 15-46
80.00: Crusaders have a lineout on the home team’s 5m.
81.00: TRY! George Bell breaks off a rolling maul and crashes over the whitewash to bring up the half-century. 15-51
82.00: CONVERSION! MO’UNGA ENDS THE GAME. 15-53
The final score is Force 15 (8) Crusaders 53 (18)
Tries – Strachan, Lee-Warner
Pen – Strachan
Con – Strachan
Tries – Fainga’anuku (3), Matera, Jordan (3), Bell
Pen – Mo’unga
Con – Mo’unga (5)
Referee: Jordan Way
Assistant Ref 1: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 2: Matt Kellahan
TMO: Brett Cronan
Western Force: 15 Jake Strachan, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Bayley Kuenzle (captain), 11 Reece Tapine, 10 Reesjan Pasitoa, 9 Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 8 Tim Anstee, 7 Ollie Callan, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Ryan McCauley, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Feleti Kaitu’u, 17 Angus Wagner, 18 Bo Abra, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Alex Masibaka, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Grason Makara.
Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan, 14 George Bridge, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 David Havili (captain), 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Pablo Matera 7 Sione Havili Talitui, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Cullen Grace, 3 Fletcher Newell, 2 Ricky Jackson, 1 Tamaiti Williams.
Replacements: 16 George Bell, 17 Seb Calder, 18 George Bower, 19 Liam Hallam-Eames, 20 Tom Christie, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Fergus Burke, 23 Chay Fihaki.