Crusaders ‘let ourselves down’ in heartbreaking loss to Brumbies


Captain Cody Taylor believes the Crusaders “let ourselves down” as the defending champions fell to the Brumbies 31-24 in a defeat that now leaves them on the brink of elimination.

Former All Blacks fullback Mills Molina has boldly suggested the Crusaders are “the only team” who can go to Canberra and upset the Brumbies ahead of their blockbuster Round 13 fixture.

The Crusaders finished second on the Super Rugby Pacific ladder ahead of their trip across the Tasman River. While the visitors needed a win, the Brumbies were in the same boat as they continued to chase the top two.

This clash was destined to be an epic struggle of despair.

With time almost running down the clock and the scores locked at 24 points, Noah Lolessio Brumbez missed what would have been the winning shot on target, but the drama was far from over.

Crusaders lock Quinten Strange hit the ball dead which caused referee Ben O'Keeffe to award a penalty to the Brumbies and a yellow card against the second rower. In one of the most stunning finishes to any rugby game ever, the Brumbies won.

“We gave ourselves a crack,” Cody Taylor said. Stan Sport after the match.

“In the first half, again, we created a lot of chances. We probably let ourselves down, with individual errors across the board – including myself – and it cost us.

“We allowed them to score 12 points, which were too easy for them on the counter-attack and that's not good enough. Tough way to finish.”

Poor discipline and uncharacteristic errors have been the Crusaders' Achilles heel all season and it cost them in this match as well. The New Zealanders leaked two tries in as many minutes early with outside backs Andy Muirhead and Tom Wright scoring.

the summary of the match

It looked as if the Brumbies had the potential to run away with him, or at least threatened to, but the Crusaders stayed in the fight on the back of their dominance up front at the set-piece.

Fletcher Newell was particularly impressive as the visitors won a series of penalties. The Crusaders refused to leave and ended up scoring 10 unanswered points late to almost send it to overtime.

But the Crusaders' season of hardship and misery continued in Canberra. Strange hit the ball dead, and while there was still time for a restart at GIO Stadium, Noah Lolessio confidently hit the ball into the crowd to secure the win.

“I'm proud of the boys. We knew we had to come physically and put those big guys on deck and I felt like we did that most of the time,” Taylor explained.

“That was probably when we had the ball, again, we created a lot of chances, we just let some of them get away.

“The Brumbies are a top-class team. They put you under pressure and that's (what they did).

“The fans are always there,” he added. “That's the great thing about Crusaders fans.

“We feel their support, we are really trying but we can't juggle the two things but there is a lot of effort involved.”





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