Fight till the end
It was a game of hard-fought rugby as the Western Force took on the most successful club over the last decade to come away with a 36 point loss.
The Force put on a brave performance taking on a Crusaders outfit that ran out some notable All Black names like Setu Tamanivalu and Israel Dagg to end the score at 8-44.
They started the game strong gaining great field position with Heath Tessmann leaving his mark on the match early and showing dominance around the ruck.
The Crusaders were the initial team to put points on the board as scrum-half Mitchell Drummond ran the length of the field scoring World Series Rugby’s first ever power try.
Despite being down by nine points the Western Force didn’t let it affect their game-plan using dominating defence to force multiple turnovers out of the opposition.
The Force took advantage of their defensive pressure with Ian Prior scoring their first try allowing them to cut back the lead.
But the Crusaders were on a roll using textbook plays through the back line and slipping through multiple tries.
Brynard Stander was dominant on the defensive end for the Force, inflicting hard-hitting tackles which slowed down the Crusaders’ momentum.
The strong defence wasn’t enough as the Crusaders wasted little time extending their lead in the second half scoring multiple tries.
Debutant Masivesi Dakuwaqa showed the Crusaders that it was not over yet as he used his Olympic Gold Medal winning abilities to charge through the Crusaders with ferocious strength allowing the Force to move the ball forward.
The fight continued as the match closed with Winger Rod Davies almost scoring the second power try of World Series Rugby only to be denied by an incorrect placement.
The Crusaders were a challenge from the beginning to the end, but a determined and focused Force gave them a dual to remember.