Crusaders

Jordan double sets up Crusaders win

Tries to winger Will Jordan either side of halftime looked to have wrapped up the win for the defending champions, but the Chiefs closed the gap to just five with 10 minutes remaining to threaten an upset win.

Rain and chilly temperatures meant opportunities were few and far between, with the emphasis on defence as both teams weighted their kicks for territory.

The two sides exchanged penalties before the Crusaders struck just on the 35-minute mark.

Excitement builds for first post-lockdown Crusaders home game

Lockdown and the cancellation of the regular Super Rugby season meant Christchurch had only been able to host two games so far this year.

Crusaders boss Colin Mansbridge said 13,000 seats had already been sold at the 17,000 capacity stadium and was confident the remainder would be snapped up by their rugby-starved fans.

Crusaders desperate to improve their discipline against Chiefs

So it is no surprise their lack of discipline against the Hurricanes last weekend has been a focal point as they prepare to host the Chiefs in Christchurch on Sunday afternoon.

Conceding 15 penalties, most of them in the first half, didn't stop the red and blacks nabbing a 39-25 bonus point win, but it certainly kept the hosts in the contest.

Indeed, the Hurricanes were outscored five tries to one, yet the game was locked at 25-25 with a quarter of an hour to play.

All Black Barrett could miss rest of Super Rugby Aotearoa

Robertson hinted that captain and lock Scott Barrett may not play in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

Barrett missed his team’s opening match in Wellington because of a foot injury. Robertson on Friday said the 26-year-old All Black damaged the plantar fascia tendon.

“It is with a specialist currently, and they are going to make a call once they have re-scanned his [Barrett’s] foot this week,” Robertson told stuff.co.nz.

“We should have a definitive decision on Friday, if he is going to be here for Super Rugby Aotearoa.”

Crusaders finish strong to beat Hurricanes

Mo'unga's 69th-minute try snapped a 25-25 deadlock and came when Hurricanes replacement Cobus Van Wyk mistakenly passed the ball to the Crusaders' Mitchell Drummond less than five metres from his own tryline.

The scrumhalf flicked the ball to Mo'unga, who scored the try and converted from the sideline to give his side some breathing room before David Havili crossed with less than five minutes remaining.

Crusaders preparing to welcome back fans for their first Super Rugby Aotearoa match in Christchurch

The New Zealand competition kicks off on June 13 following the country’s recent move to alert Level 2, with games initially set to go ahead without fans, however, due to crowd limitations and restrictions still in place.

Earlier this week, the Government said they will evaluate moving the country into alert Level 1 on June 22, giving franchises hope of welcoming fans back to live games.

With the Crusaders not playing at home until round three – on June 28 – Mansbridge told NZME things look promising to have his side run out in front of their home supporters.

Sam Whitelock back for the Crusaders

Whitelock had planned to skip Super Rugby this year while enjoying a playing stint in Japan but the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the 31-year-old lock home to New Zealand.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said Whitelock had been given the green light to play in the hastily arranged 'Aotearoa' competition, which will see the country's five Super Rugby teams play each other over 10 weeks from mid-June.

Super Rugby was suspended after seven rounds in March due to the novel coronavirus outbreak and may not be able to resume in 2020 due to travel curbs and border controls.

All Black Richie Mo'unga apologises after Crusaders filmed training

A group of Crusaders players, including Mo'unga, were filmed training at a Christchurch park on Monday.

The gathering appeared to go against the government's lockdown rules, but Mo'unga said it was a coincidence that the players were in the same place at the same time.

In an Instagram video, Mo'unga explained he could be a better role model and said he made no excuses.

Coronavirus scare for Crusaders players

The Sydney University forward tested positive to coronavirus after leaving New Zealand, where the side faced the Crusaders Development XV in Lincoln.

However, Crusaders boss Colin Mansbridge says the risk that any player from the Super Rugby side may have been exposed to the virus is low as the Sydney player in question tested positive “many days” after returning to Australia.

“Our advice is because he was asymptomatic for many days before he developed symptoms, he’s more than likely been infected in Australia,” Masbridge told Stuff.

Crusaders trounce Sunwolves in Brisbane

All Blacks wing Sevu Reece bagged a brace of tries for the visitors, who moved back to the top of the New Zealand Conference standings.

Reece was also yellow carded in the match for a professional foul.

The Crusaders were well below full strength due to injuries and resting players.

It could well be the Sunwolves' final Super Rugby match now that the season has been suspended due to the coronavirus and New Zealand travel restrictions and quarantine rules.