Crusaders tested in opening win

Ryan Crotty, of the Crusaders, is tackled by Lachlan Boshier, of the Chiefs, during the round two...
Ryan Crotty, of the Crusaders, is tackled by Lachlan Boshier, of the Chiefs, during the round two Super Rugby match at AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Saturday. The Crusaders were awarded a penalty try as a result of the tackle. Photo: Getty Images
The Crusaders made a winning start to their defence of the Super Rugby title but needed a controversial penalty try to get on top of the Chiefs in Christchurch on Saturday night.

The home side prevailed 45-23. But with less than 10 minutes remaining, and the game still in the balance, referee Ben O’Keeffe decided Ryan Crotty would have scored in the corner had it not been for a head-high tackle by the Chiefs’ replacement loose forward, Lachlan Boshier. It proved to be the turning point. The Crusaders stretched out to win by 22 points in what was a tense match.

The Rebels registered a 45-19 victory against a 14-man Reds side in Melbourne.

Reds captain Scott Higginbotham was red-carded following a dangerous tackle in the 10th minute.

The Melbourne-based side ran in seven tries — the most the team has scored in a Super Rugby match. Winger Sefanaia Naivalu, fullback Dane Haylett-Petty and flyhalf Jack Debreczeni crossed for two tries each  and centre Tom English bagged  one as well.

The Brumbies prevailed 32-25 against the Sunwolves in Tokyo. Tevita Kuridrani pounced on a wayward pass early in the second half to score a try to get his side in front after a lacklustre opening 40 minutes.

In Sydney, Waratahs lock Ned Hanigan scored after the hooter to seize a 34-27 win against the Stormers.

The home side trailed with time up but the Stormers messed up their  lineout. Hooker Hugh Roach ended up with the ball and charged at the defensive line. A few phases later Hanigan crashed over.

The Bulls scored late as well to beat the Hurricanes 21-19 in Pretoria.

Hurricanes first five-eighth Beauden Barrett scored just before the hour mark to give his side a 19-16 lead. He became the fourth player to pass 1000 points in Super Rugby.

But a charge down near the halfway line from Handre Pollard set up prop Pierre Schoeman for his try with eight minutes remaining.

The Lions dispatched the Jaguares 47-27 in Johannesburg.

Rookie wing Aphiwe Dyantyi scored a brace of tries as the Lions scored seven tries to three to pick up a bonus point.

The Jaguares played 20 minutes with 14 men after yellow cards for wing Bautista Delguy and hooker Julian Montoya.

On Friday night, the Highlanders beat the Blues 41-34 in a topsy-turvy encounter at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

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