Crusaders

Clinical Crusaders too good for Highlanders

It was the first time the two teams had met this Super Rugby season, after their March 16 match in Dunedin was cancelled following the Christchurch mosque shootings the day before.

Although the Crusaders initially looked out of sorts and trailed by three at half-time, they proved brutally efficient in the second spell in amassing five tries for a comprehensive win which extended their unbeaten run at home to 24 matches.

Crusaders name, swords and horses have got to go, says Muslim advocate

On Wednesday the Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby announced they would this season seek feedback on the Crusaders name, giving two options.

One was to remove the sword-wielding horsemen that has been part of pre-match entertainment, the second was to change the branding, as well as the Crusaders name that has been with the team since 1996.

Changing the imagery only would be an insult and defeat the purpose altogether, advocate Guled Mire told Radio New Zealand.

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.

Crusaders chasing their first road win against Hurricanes since 2012

The lock said so himself when asked what makes the Hurricanes such a tricky customer in the capital, where they have not lost to the Crusaders since 2012. They have won 25 of their last 26 home fixtures.

Put it this way, half of Crusaders coach Scott Robertson's four Super Rugby defeats since taking over the red and blacks in 2017 went down at Westpac Stadium. His overall record is 38-1-4 leading into Friday night's clash against the Hurricanes in Wellington

Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett primed for clash of All Blacks' pivots

Denied a head-to-head clash between the All Blacks' pivots in round two in Christchurch because Barrett wasn't back from an extended break, Crusaders first-five Mo'unga and his Hurricanes counterpart will line up opposite one another in Wellington on Friday night. 

The last time they clashed - during last year's semifinal in Christchurch - Mo'unga outplayed Barrett in a 30-12 win, the second time he did so during the red and blacks' march to a ninth Super Rugby title. 

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.