Brumbies heartbreak in loss to Crusaders

Sat, 15/05/2021, 10:06 am
AAP
by AAP
Noah misses crucial kick to tie the match in Christchurch

Brumbies flyhalf Noah Lolesio has missed a sideline conversion on the final siren as the Crusaders escaped with a thrilling 31-29 win in Christchurch.

The Crusaders were cruising to victory after skipping out to a 31-17 lead with just 10 minutes remaining in Saturday night's Super Rugby Trans-Tasman clash.

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A magical solo try to Brumbies fullback Tom Banks - when he shook off three tacklers in a 62 metre sprint to the line - got the visitors back in the game in the 72nd minute.

A 79th-minute yellow card to Crusaders substitute Ereatara Enari further opened the door, and the margin was just two points when a clever inside flick from Brumbies winger Tom Wright sent No.8 Rob Valetini over.

Tom Banks slices through the Crusaders defence

It left Lolesio with a chance to draw the game, but he squeezed the tough sideline conversion to he left to narrowly miss as the final siren sounded.

Lolesio hunched over in disappointment, but his teammates ran in to console him after what had been a remarkable late fightback from the Brumbies.

"Definitely proud of the effort, especially the fight we showed in the second half," Brumbies captain Allan Ala'alatoa told Stan Sport after the match.

"Looking at the boys, we're devastated at the loss. We came out here to win."

Crusaders captain David Havili praised the Brumbies for their fighting effort.

"The Brumbies came and took it up to us," he said.

"(We had) tired legs from last week, but you can't blame that. It's a new competition and you've got to step up. It wasn't good enough, but we came away with the win."

The first 20 minutes was a dour affair filled with failed scrums and uncharacteristic handling errors.

The one bright spark was a fifth-minute try to flanker Ethan Blackadder, who got on the end of a nice Crusaders move to touch down in the corner.

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