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Into the last minute, the Crusaders just need to hold it.
The siren goes, and Mo'unga clears for a bonus point victory - but at what cost after injuries to Grace and Havili?
79 mins - TRY CRUSADERS
McAlister throws, Strange wins it and they drive.
They've got advantage, but won't need it as Havili-Talitui goes over to restore that bonus point!
Can Mo'unga convert? As per usual, he does.
CRU 42 WAR 18
That try has seen the Crusaders' bonus point wiped. Can they get it back?
Fihaki runs on the right, but loses the ball.
Nawaqanitawase has a go, and offloads to Edmed, but the ball is turned over again through Whitelock.
The Waratahs give away a penalty, and the Crusaders want the lineout in the corner.
76 mins - TRY WARATAHS
Burke leaves the field, replaced by Patafilo. Vailanu throws and the Waratahs win it.
Wilson breaks and finds Pietsch outside him as they get inside the 22.
They go to Walton on the right, and he gets to the 5m line, before Leatigaga picks and goes to score.
Edmed to convert, but he misses to the left.
CRU 35 WAR 18
Another scrum. Hotham feeds, and goes to Mo'unga off the back.
They go wide, through Havili-Talitui but he's penalised for not releasing.
Crusaders lineout, McAlister throws, but they've lost it and the Waratahs can counter.
Goddard goes wide looking for Nawaqanitawase, but throws it into touch.
Vailanu throws, but it's called for not straight.
Crusaders scrum. Hotham feeds, and goes to Mo'unga off the back.
The Crusaders have advantage, and kicks over the top for Fihaki, but he loses it to Pietsch so we go back for the penalty.
Waratahs scrum. Goddard feeds, Tuipulotu runs off the back but they're forced backwards.
Fainga'anuku takes out a player without the ball, and gives away a penalty.
Waratahs lineout. Vailanu throws and they win it. Goddard goes to the air, and the Crusaders can counter.
Burke kicks over the top for Mo'unga, but he drops it.
Waratahs scrum. Havili has come straight off.
Goddard feeds, and the Waratahs win a penalty straight away.
McAlister throws, and it's not tidy but the Crusaders end up with it.
Havili-Talitui carries towards the 22, as the Crusaders go right.
Mo'unga throws a cutout pass to Havili on the wing, and he breaks downfield, but loses it with the tryline in sight.
Havili has stayed down hurt as well.
Vailanu throws, Holloway wins it and the Waratahs look for their drive.
The Crusaders defend, so the Waratahs are forced to go the backs, but Gallagher steals it for the Crusaders.
Mo'unga clears, straight to Wilson. The Waratahs go forwad, but Havili-Talitui wins a turnover.
Mo'unga finds touch.
Edmed kicks off for the Waratahs. Hotham looks to box kick, but it goes straight up.
Nawaqanitawase fields it, and is tackled into touch, but the Crusaders are called for not being back 10m.
Edmed finds touch.
60 mins - TRY CRUSADERS
Crusaders lineout, McAlister throws and they win it.
Fainga'anuku gets a short ball and is tackled just short of the tryline, but the Crusaders are close.
Fainga'anuku goes again, holds off three defenders, and gets a short pass away to Mo'unga and he scores!
Can Mo'unga convert his own try? Of course he can.
CRU 35 WAR 13
Taylor is replaced by McAlister. Mo'unga kicks off.
The Waratahs fumble possession, before Donaldson kicks it out on the full inside the 22.
57 mins - TRY WARATAHS
Donaldson finds touch for a lineout in the corner. Porecki throws, they win it and look for the drive.
Porecki gets it and runs for the line, and gets over the 5m line. Tuipulotu runs blind, and gets the pass away to Gleeson.
Gleeson runs, and offloads to Pietsch, who scores in the corner.
Donaldson to convert from the left touchline, but he hits the post.
CRU 28 WAR 13
Waratahs scrum. Gordon feeds, and gets it back as Donaldson kicks downfield.
Fihaki takes it, as Burke kicks it back to Donaldson.
Gamble attacks down the left, as Pietsch wins advantage.
Nawaqanitawase looks to offload, but it hits McLeod, so we go back for a penalty against the Crusaders.
Taylor the culprit for not rolling away.
Crusaders scrum in their 22. Hotham feeds after replacing Drummond.
They go to the backs before Mo'unga kicks downfield for Wilson.
Wilson runs, and gets over halfway. Taylor turns it over though, and takes a quick tap.
Fainga'anuku passes out to McLeod on the wing, but throws a forward pass.
Waratahs lineout deep in the Crusaders' 22. Porecki throws, Sinclair wins it.
Lio-Willie makes the tackle, and wins a penalty as well.
John Afoa is subbed off, and gets a standing ovation. Reuben O'Neill replaces him.
Porecki throws and the Waratahs win it and attack from inside the Crusaders' half.
Late tackle is made by Hotham, and the Crusaders are penalised.
Waratahs scrum. Gordon feeds, and they win advantage.
Gordon goes to Nawaqanitawase on the wing, but he's forced back infield.
Play is stopped, so we go back for the penalty.
Porecki throws, and Holloway wins it over Whitelock.
Donaldson kicks it down to Burke, who kicks it back. Donaldson kicks into touch but Mo'unga goes quickly to McLeod.
McLeod threatens to break, and send Mo'unga away down the left. Nawaqanitawase gets across to make the tackle, but the Crusaders are hot on attack.
Fihaki runs and looks for the offload, but throws it forward.
Crusaders lineout inside the 22. Taylor throws, but it's not tidy and the Waratahs end up with it through Walton.
Seu offloads, but it goes into touch. Fihaki tries to go quickly, but passes straight to Gordon.
Gordon kicks downfield, but Mo'unga finds touch.
Another Waratahs lineout, Porecki throws and they win it.
The ball's ripped away though, as Havili kicks downfield into touch for a 50-22!
Fainga'anuku has stayed down hurt, but he's going to continue. Gordon feeds, and finds Tuipulotu at first receiver.
Seu carries to halfway, as Nawaqanitawase threatens to break. Afoa comes up with an intercept, and finds Taylor outside him - but he drops it.
Straight away, the Crusaders get on the front foot. Fainga'anuku carries into the Waratahs' half, before Havili kicks over the top for Fihaki on the wing.
Afoa runs again, as Fihaki goes again. Taylor runs, as Burke tries to slip Fainga'anuku into a gap.
Strange goes, but knocks on.
Right then, we're ready to go for the second half. Donaldson kicks off again.
Porecki throws, and Seu wins it as the Waratahs drive.
Gleeson and Gamble run towards the 22, as does Johnson-Holmes. Gleeson goes again, tackled. Gamble goes again, tackled.
The Waratahs are forced wide, as the siren goes. Wilson's lost it forward as Mo'unga finds touch for halftime.
Donaldson kicks off, straight to Whitelock.
The Crusaders have it in their own 22, as Drummond clears into touch.
38 mins - TRY CRUSADERS
Donaldson goes to the air with the dropout. Whitelock wins it.
The Crusaders surge forward towards the tryline, as Drummond goes to the left.
Burke spins out of the tackle - and he scores the fourth before halftime.
Mo'unga to convert from the sideline, 37m out.
And he shapes it back between the posts.
CRU 28 WAR 8
Crusaders lineout on the 5m line. Taylor throws, Whitelock wins it and they look to drive.
They're close, as Afoa goes at the line - but it's held up for a goal line dropout.
35 mins - YELLOW CARD WARATAHS
Taylor throws, over the top to Havili-Talitui, and the Crusaders have it inside the Waratahs' half.
Christie hits the line, as the Crusaders go to the right. They've lost it though. Wilson kicks downfield, straight to Burke and the Crusaders go again.
Burke, Fihaki and Taylor combine on the left, but Nawaqanitawase snatches it just inside the half.
Gordon clears with a box kick, Mo'unga takes it cleanly. Fainga'anuku takes some tackling, as does Whitelock.
Drummond box kicks, Donaldson takes it and is swamped as the Crusaders turn it over.
Havili kicks it down into the Waratahs' in-goal, but Wilson gets there and kicks it back, straight to Mo'unga.
Drummond runs, but loses in the tackle of Pietsch. Wilson kicks again, straight to McLeod inside the Crusaders' half.
Fihaki breaks, and offloads to Fainga'anuku who gets inside the 22, and wins a penalty for his efforts.
Walton is also shown yellow for cynical play!
Crusaders scrum. Drummond goes to feed, but the front row goes down and Afoa has won a penalty!
Mo'unga finds touch.
Porecki throws, Holloway wins it as they exchange passes.
Porecki runs towards the 22, as does Donaldson - only to knock-on.
Donaldson kicks off again. The Crusaders win it as Drummond clears into touch.
29 mins - TRY CRUSADERS
Crusaders lineout on the Waratahs 10. Taylor throws, but Strange knocks it on.
Walton kicks downfield, Burke kicks it straight back. Walton kicks it into touch but McLeod takes it quickly.
He exchanges passes with Mo'unga, but the Waratahs turn it over. Gordon kicks it back, but Mo'unga anticipates.
The Crusaders break from nowhere! Burke starts it, finds Havili, who offloads to Fainga'anuku on the wing!
Fainga'anuku finds Mo'unga back inside him - and he runs into the in-goal before gifting it to Drummond to score over the line! That extra pass from Mo'unga's also given him an easier kick - genius.
Mo'unga to convert, and does.
CRU 21 WAR 8
Taylor throws, Strange wins it, Drummond clears.
It's not out though, as Pietsch runs it back, but the Waratahs are called for obstruction.
Gordon feeds, as Gleeson runs off the back. The Waratahs go wide before Tuipulotu straightens.
Wilson goes on the left, as Gordon goes back to the right.
Porecki takes the line on, before Donaldson kicks for Pietcsh on the left - but it goes into touch.
Fainga'anuku returns to the field. Crusaders lineout.
Donaldson kicks off, and Fihaki takes it cleanly.
The Crusaders look to chuck it round, but Mo'unga can't hang on to a shocker from Drummond.
That'll be a Waratahs scrum inside the 22.
22 mins - TRY CRUSADERS
The Waratahs try to take a quick dropout, but the call was for the penalty, not held up.
Mo'unga finds touch for a lineout. McLeod has also stayed down hurt. Taylor throws, the Crusaders win it and look for the drive this time.
They go close, and who else but Taylor scores!
Mo'unga to convert from the left touchline, and nails it!
CRU 14 WAR 8
Taylor throws, Whitelock wins it and the Crusaders can't drive.
Whitelock gets it again as the Waratahs give away an offside advantage. Taylor carries to the 5m line, as does Afoa.
Sykes-Martin has a go.
Havili-Talitui finds Havili - who goes for the line, but he's held up! We go back for the penalty.
First scrum of the game, what can John Afoa do?
Gordon feeds, and goes to Wilson off the back. The Crusaders have turned it though, and won a penalty!
Lio-Willie the hero. Mo'unga finds touch for a lineout in the corner.
Mo'unga kicks off, and the Waratahs slow it down before Gordon clears as far as McLeod.
Mo'unga and Havili combine, before Strange carries over halfway.
Sykes-Martin runs, but loses the ball as the Waratahs counter.
Holloway kicks, and Burke is under pressure at the back, but get it under control.
Whitelock gets the ball in space, before Drummond puts Mo'unga through!
Mo'unga offloads to Havili - but he drops it cold!
15 mins - TRY WARATAHS
Waratahs lineout in the corner. Porecki throws, Holloway wins it and they drive.
Gordon takes it off the back and runs blind - and scores in the corner!
Donaldson to convert, but can't shape the ball through the posts.
CRU 7 WAR 8
13 mins - YELLOW CARD CRUSADERS
Another lineout, Porecki throws and Gamble wins it.
Gordon puts Holloway into a gap, as the Waratahs go to their right, with advantage.
Play is stopped as the Waratahs lose it, and Fainga'anuku is sent to the bin.
Grace leaves the field now, looks like a knee injury. Sione Havili-Talitui takes his place.
Waratahs lineout. Porecki throws, but again it's over the top and straight to Taylor.
Drummond belts it downfield, into touch again.
Jorgensen has gone off injured for the Waratahs, Harry Wilson replaces him at fullback.
Meanwhile, the Crusaders lose the ball from the kick-off, and the Waratahs have it in their half.
The Crusaders turn it over inside their own 22, though, and Drummond kicks it into touch.
Cullen Grace has stayed down hurt.
10 mins - TRY CRUSADERS
Mo'unga kicks off, Walton wins it as Gordon clears with a box kick.
The Crusaders look to use the ball now. Strange takes it to halfway as they go wide to Fainga'anuku and Christie.
They swing it back the other way for Fihaki, as Lio-Willie makes metres up the middle.
They go back to the left and Fainga'anuku and Grace. Whitelock breaks, offloads to Lio-Willie - who offloads to Havili and he runs away to score the first try!
Mo'unga converts from in front.
CRU 7 WAR 3
8 mins - PENALTY WARATAHS
Moral victory for the Crusaders - the Waratahs want the points.
Donaldson lines up the kick, right in front. And he makes no mistake.
CRU 0 WAR 3
Crusaders lineout. Taylor throws, Strange wins it, before it goes back to Mo'unga - who kicks down to Nawaqanitawase.
Nawaqanitawase takes the line on and runs inside the 22. The Crusaders are called for offside again, and give away advantage.
Gleeson loses the ball, so we go back for the penalty. The Crusaders are given a warning - the next one will be a card.
Donaldson finds touch again for another lineout in the corner. Porecki throws, and this time they win it.
The Waratahs look for the driving maul, but the Crusaders are up to it and force it to the back.
The Waratahs go left, but Donaldson throws it into touch looking for Nawaqanitawase.
Another lineout, Porecki throws and this time they win it.
The Waratahs run, and have advantage against Fihaki. It's knocked on by Holloway, so we go back for the penalty.
The Waratahs want the lineout in the corner. Donaldson finds touch.
Porecki throws, but it's over the top and straight to Taylor.
Hang on though, Strange is penalised for interference - and the Waratahs go quickly!
They kick to the corner, but McLeod wins it and calls for the mark - and finds touch.
The Waratahs return fire straight away, as Fainga'anuku fields the kick. Havili kicks back, straight to Jorgensen for the Waratahs to run inside their half.
Tuipulotu breaks into the Crusaders' half as the Waratahs win advantage.
Gordon sends it left, as Havili gives away another advantage. Porecki carries towards the 22, as does Nawaqanitawase.
Play is stopped, so we go back for the penalty.
And we're away! Richie Mo'unga gets us rolling.
And the Waratahs are out second, led onto the field by skipper Jake Gordon.
Codie Taylor leads the Crusaders onto Orangetheory Stadium, Sam Whitelock closely in tow.
Both sides are back in the sheds before kick-off - not long to go now!
Good afternoon - and how good is afternoon rugby!
Some big news out of Christchurch to start with - former All Black John Afoa has come straight into the starting side for the Crusaders!
He takes the place of Tamaiti Williams as the only change to the originally named 23.
Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the Crusaders vs NSW Waratahs, from Christchurch's Orangetheory Stadium.
In their final home match of the regular season, the Crusaders have the chance to cut into the Chiefs' lead at the top of the table, currently eight points off first place with two matches before the playoffs.
They'll be up against a side who got the better of them last time out, though, after the Waratahs' shock 24-21 win in Sydney last April.
But on their home turf, the Crusaders will back themselves to get the job done.
Even without captain Scott Barrett and Will Jordan - both on All Blacks rest - the Crusaders have been able to name a strong side, anchored by the returning Sam Whitelock.
Amid a front row crisis, former Chiefs prop Reuben O'Neill will debut off the bench, while ex-All Black John Afoa is reportedly on the verge of inking a short-term deal.
The Waratahs, meanwhile, have their own playoff ambitions to think about. In the penultimate round, the Sydney outfit are sixth on the ladder - but could finish in the top four if results go their way.
TAB odds: Crusaders $1.05, Waratahs $8.50, draw $31
Crusaders: 1-Kershawl Sykes-Martin, 2-Codie Taylor (c), 3-John Afoa, 4-Quentin Strange, 5-Sam Whitelock, 6-Christian Lio-Willie, 7-Tom Christie, 8-Cullen Grace, 9-Mitchell Drummond, 10-Richie Mo'unga, 11-Dallas McLeod, 12-David Havili, 13-Leicester Fainga'anuku, 14-Chay Fihaki, 15-Fergus Burke
Reserves: 16-Brodie McAlister, 17-Seb Calder, 18-Reuben O'Neill, 19-Zach Gallagher, 20-Sione Havili Talitui, 21-Noah Hotham, 22-Pepesana Patafilo, 23-Wil Gaulter
Waratahs: 1-Te Tera Faulkner, 2-David Porecki, 3-Harry Johnson-Holmes, 4-Jed Holloway, 5-Hugh Sinclair, 6-Taleni Seu, 7-Charlie Gamble, 8-Langi Gleeson, 9-Jake Gordon (c), 10-Ben Donaldson, 11-Dylan Pietsch, 12-Mosese Tuipulotu, 13-Joey Walton, 14-Mark Nawaqanitawase, 15-Max Jorgensen
Reserves: 16-Mahe Vailanu, 17-Nephi Leatigaga, 18-Tom Lambert, 19-Ned Hanigan, 20-Will Harris, 21-Harrison Goddard, 22-Tane Edmed, 23-Harry Wilson2023-05-27T02:32:11Z dg43tfdfdgfd