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Waratahs 33 - 32 Crusaders

Super 14 - week five round-up

By Graeme Mair.   Last Updated: 10/03/06 9:11am

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Daniel Carter scored 15 points as Canterbury Crusaders beat Waikato Chiefs 25-19 in Hamilton.

Carter scored a try within fifteen seconds of kick off as he charged down Stephen Donald's attempted clearance and won the race to touch down the loose ball.

He later added two penalties and converted one of the Crusaders other two tries from Scott Hamilton and Mose Tuiali'i.

Waikato had been in contention throughout - Donald kicked 14 points, while Sitiveni Sivivatu put his side 16-15 ahead with a 40th minute try.

But after Tuiali'i crossed in the 62nd minute, the Crusaders produced some solid defending to seal the result.

"It's always tough to come up here and win," said Canterbury captain Richie McCaw.

"The Chiefs threw everything at us and we had to defend all night but we got away with a win.

"You can't ask any more than five wins from five games but the guys all agree we can still improve."

In Friday's other game, NSW Waratahs claimed their biggest win for 11 years with a 50-3 thrashing of the Cats.

The Waratahs threw the ball wide at every opportunity and were rewarded with seven unanswered tries.

Hooker Adam Freier scored a brace, while fly half Mat Rogers, winger Peter Hewat, flanker Wycliff Palu, prop Benn Robinson and replacement Daniel Halangahu got one each.

A much tighter affair ensued in the first match on Saturday, as ACT Brumbies edged a classic 35-30 against the Sharks.

The Brumbies' unbeaten record looked in grave danger as they fell 21-6 behind thanks to tries from Henno Mentz and AJ Venter, but a yellow card for Deon Carstens changed the complexion of the match.

The hosts hit back through Mark Chisholm and Stirling Mortlock before the break, and when Mark Gerrard touched down five minutes after the interval ACT established a grip on the game.

However, the boot of Tony Brown (21 points) kept the Sharks in the contest and it needed a second Mortlock effort to finally claim a bonus point victory for the Brumbies. 

Queensland Reds also came from behind in their bottom-of-the-table clash with Western Force, eventually triumphing 29-18 to claim their first win of the season.

Greg Holmes and Stephen Moore both went over in a strong second half display, as the Reds roared back from 18-3 down.

An individual Scott Staniforth try and an effort from David Pusey had given the visitors the early intitiative, but a try right on half time from John Roe changed the mood in Brisbane, with Reds temporarily moving up to 11th in the table.

Saturday's third match saw the Bulls earn a tough 23-16 win over Otago, ending a nine-year run without a victory over the Highlanders.

Springbok flanker Pedrie Wannenburg was the home side's hero, forcing his way over for two tries to win the contest for his colleagues.

The Highlanders had looked the more likely for the majority of the game, with fly half Nick Evans capitalising on some poor defending to open the try-scoring.

However, Jimmy Cowan's high tackle allowed the hosts back into the contest, and Wannenburg grabbed his first try after a good catch-and-drive.

More tense rugby followed in front of a near-40,000 crowd at Loftus Versfeld, but Wannenburg made the most of another strong rolling maul to claim the spoils - helping the Bulls to leapfrog their opponents in the table.

The final encounter of the weekend witnessed yet another comeback, as the Hurricanes snatched a 23-19 victory in the final minute against the Stormers.

A tight first half produced little to excite the Fedsure Park crowd, with the hosts going into the break with a 9-3 lead thanks to the boot of Peter Grant.

However, the game exploded into life in the second period, as both sides touched down inside six minutes - firstly through David Holwell for the Hurricanes and then Schalk Brits for the Stormers.

Grant's boot looked like winning the contest, but with five minutes remaining, the visitors scored two quick tries to move into second in the table once more.

Tane Tu'ipoloto grabbed the first before Hosea Gear stole in for the crucial winner in the dying seconds for a narrow victory.

Waikato Chiefs 19-25 Canterbury Crusaders
NSW Waratahs 50-3 Cats

ACT Brumbies 35-30 Sharks
Queensland Reds 29-18 Western Force
Bulls 23-16 Otago Highlanders
Stormers 19-23 Wellington Hurricanes



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