Rebels stun Crusaders in historic win

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13 Feb 2015
Rebels stun Crusaders in historic win

The first Super Rugby game of the 2015 season produced the first upset as the Rebels beat the Crusaders 20-10 in Christchurch on Friday.

Once again, the Crusaders have made a false start to their season. The Rebels outscored their hosts two tries to one to snatch a deserved win. To make matter worse for last year's losing finalists, All Blacks fly-half dab Carter finished the game limping with what looked like a knee injury.

The scores were locked at 10-all when the hooter sounded for half-time after both teams had scored tries via their forwards.

Dan Carter gave the hosts an early three-point lead from the kicking tee but the Rebels scored the first try of the Super Rugby season as second rower Lopeti Timani powered over from short range.

Mike Harris landed the conversion to give the visitors an unexpected 7-3 lead, but the Crusaders replied a few minutes later as hooker Ben Funnell scored off the back rolling maul.

Carter's extras nudged the Crusaders back in front but Harris was also on target just before the interval to leave matters all square at the interval.

Harris's second penalty early in the second period put the Rebels back into front and the Crusaders were made to pay for turning down kickables chances as they hit the hour mark three points down.

And things went from bad to worse for the seven-time champs as the Rebels - despite being down a man after Sean McMahon saw yellow for a tip tackle - scored a second try, this time against the run of play.

Scrum-half Nic Stirzaker collected a loose ball, after Carter's chip ahead was blocked, and raced home from inside his own half. Harris added the conversion.

The Crusaders threw the kitchen sink at the Rebels defence in the closing minutes, but were unable to find a gap and thus could not even salvage a losing bonus point.