Crusaders fall short against Munster

Crusaders coach Rob Penney. File photo
Crusaders coach Rob Penney. File photo
The champion Crusaders, minus their World Cup All Blacks, have kicked off the new era under coach Rob Penney with a narrow pre-season loss to Munster in Cork, Ireland.

After winning an avalanche of trophies under Scott Robertson, the new All Blacks coach, the Crusaders will be tested as they adapt to Penney’s ways.

But traditional Crusaders never-say-die strengths were on display as they kept in touch with a Munster side that had the better of possession in front of a crowd of 41,000.

The home side prevailed 21-19, but only after a late conversion attempt from Rivez Reihana faded past the posts.

The Crusaders were led by lock Quinten Strange, in All Black Scott Barrett’s absence, and he was yellow-carded in the first half.

The Crusaders play the Pat Lam-coached Bristol Bears this weekend.