Brumbies Triumph Over Mighty Crusaders in Canberra

Otto SaaymanContributor IFebruary 21, 2009

The game started the same way that it ended—with strong defense by the Crusaders who kept the Brumbies' attacks at bay and were strong in the scum as usual.

The Brumbies scored first with a penalty by Mark Gerrard. Then the Crusaders' Casey Laulala made the Brumbies pay for yet another mistake, intercepting a wayward pass and scoring a try.

Brumbies' mistakes cost them opportunities and the halftime score was made a little bit more respectable by Christian Lealiifano going over for a try. At the half, the score was 11-8 in favour of the Crusaders.

More mistakes in the second half put the Crusaders ahead with a try in the corner by Ross Filipo. First, Lealiifano kicked directly into touch and then had a kick charged down by Colin Slade a few minutes later. The ball went wide and Filipo's try was confirmed by the TMO.

A new energy then seemed to take hold of the Brumbies as they spent most of the last 20 minutes putting immense pressure on the Crusaders' line. Their persistence finally paid off in the last gasps of the match, when the Crusaders started giving away one free-kick or penalty after another inside their 22.

Almost every Brumbie got hold of the ball and the Crusaders showed some awesome defense, until Gerrard crashed through their lines and fell over for a score-equalling try. Sterling Mortlock put the final nail in the Crusaders' coffin with his conversion and the celebrations started in Canberra.

The Brumbies showed some strong character by pulling themselves up after a relentless onslaught by the Crusaders.