Carter kills Tahs

Dan Carter kicked the Crusaders to a comeback 23-22 win against the Waratahs in Christchurch.

The Waratahs were outstanding in the first half and led 15-3 after 38 minutes.

But, as they have done so many times in the history of the competition, the Crusaders struck just before half-time with a converted try to reduce the deficit to just five points.

The Tahs remained the stronger side in the first quarter of the second half, but questionable substitutions derailed the visitors as much as an improved home team effort.

Carter was the architect of the first half try when he took a quick tap, which resulted in Corey Flynn’s try and it was the All Blacks great’s goal kicking which fashioned an unlikely win.

Carter, who had missed just two kicks at goal in 20 attempts this season, succeeded with five from six, with the last of his penalties coming five minutes from the end.

Tom Taylor, who has missed only twice in 19 attempts this year, had been the goalkicker for the last two matches, but in Christchurch Carter resumed the responsibilities and it coincided with an improved all-round display from the world’s leading flyhalf.

Carter and captain Kieran Read were the best of the Crusaders, with fullback Israel Dagg again struggling defensively.

Michael Hooper was the best player on either side and scrumhalf Brendan McKibbin was influential before a substitution that contributed to the Tahs ruined night.

The Tahs had not won in Christchurch for nine years and it may be another nine before they get as good a chance.

The Tahs had a chance to win the game with a last minute penalty but Berrick Barnes missed from 25 metres. It was the second one point defeat of the season for the Sydneysiders and the second successive weekend they have been beaten in the final few minutes.

Crusaders – Try: Corey Flynn, Matt Todd. Conversion: Dan Carter (2). Penalty: Dan Carter (3).
Waratahs – Try: Cam Crawford, Peter Betham, Bernard Foley. Conversion: Brendan McKibbin (2). Penalty: McKibbin