April 14 Canterbury Crusaders' rookie flyhalf
Tom Taylor scored all of his team's points as the seven-times
champions brought an end to only perfect record in Super Rugby
with a 31-24 victory over South Africa's Stormers on Saturday.
Two sides packed with All Blacks and Springboks made for a
contest of the highest quality at Christchurch Stadium but it
was 23-year-old student Taylor's try and 26 points from a
perfect display of kicking that proved decisive.
Joe Pietersen kicked a penalty well after the siren to give
the Stormers a bonus point that will give them at least with a
share of the lead in the South African conference despite their
first defeat in seven matches this year.
With Dan Carter being played out of position at inside
centre the Crusaders backline had an unusual look about it as it
came up against what is traditionally the meanest defence in the
The South Africans showed that they had qualities aplenty in
attack too, though, with an opportunist try from centre Juan de
Jongh and a brilliant team effort finished off by winger Bryan
It was Taylor who got the first try, however, when the
Crusaders put together an attack of dazzling simplicity from a
turnover in the 13th minute.
Straight running and quick hands got the ball out to hooker
Corey Flynn on the wing and his pass inside gave Taylor a clear
run to the line.
Taylor, the son of All Black Warwick Taylor, added the extra
points but the Stormers charged back with a try of their own
seven minutes later when de Jongh hacked on a grounded pass from
Carter and won a footrace to recover the ball and score.
The Crusaders managed to see out Wyatt Crockett's 10 minutes
in the sin bin for a high tackle around the halftime break and
still emerge with a 22-16 lead as Taylor continued to punish all
The Cape Town-based outfit ramped up the tempo considerably
around the hour mark and phase after phase of pressure drew its
reward when Dewaldt Duvenage's clever crosskick was gathered by
Habana for the Springbok flyer's 51st Super Rugby try.
Pietersen missed the conversion and a chance for the
Stormers to edge ahead, though, and a yellow card for flanker
Rynhardt Elstadt, also for a high tackle, combined with Taylor's
sixth penalty gave the home side daylight at 25-21.
Two more Taylor penalties secured a fourth win in seven
matches for the Crusaders and made up in some part for the
disapppointment of falling to a narrow defeat to the Bulls in
South Africa last week.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Alastair
sports blog Left Field go to: blogs.reuters.com/sport))