Mataele double steers Crusaders back to top with 8-21 win over Brumbies

Ryan Crotty's sin-bin did not affect Crusaders
Ryan Crotty's sin-bin did not affect Crusaders

Brumbies 8 - 21 Crusaders, Canberra

Manasa Mataele scored a double in the first half as Crusaders went on to beat Brumbies 8-21 in their Super Rugby encounter in Canberra on Saturday.

The win has taken Crusaders to the top position in New Zealand Conference with 33 points while Brumbies are positioned fourth in Australian Conference.

Henry Speight crossed over as early as in the second minute when he grabbed a pass from Joe Powell but Wharenui Hawera missed out on the conversion.

As the first quarter was about to end, the response from the defending champions came through Tim Bateman after he was offloaded by Seta Tamanivalu. A conversion from Mike Delany took them to a slender two-point lead but their comeback was boosted when Brumbies were reduced to 14-men temporarily with Chance Peni sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Israel Dagg.

This is when Crusaders upped the ante with Mataele scoring a double in the 26th and 31st minutes with Delany slotting both the conversions to make it 5-21 before Hawera kicked a 35th-minute penalty goal to reduce the arrears to 13 points.

'Crusaders had a couple of setback when Scott Barrett and Ryan Crotty were yellow carded for infringements in the 59th and 62nd minute but Brumbies failed to capitalise on the advantage and with both the teams failing to score a single point in the second half, the visitors sealed a 8-21 victory.

Super Rugby 2019 Points Table