Lucky Crusaders survive Sharks’ scare with late rally

Sharks' Makazole Mapimpi (C) is tackled by Crusaders' Braydon Ennor during the Super Rugby match between New Zealand's Crusaders and South Africa's Sharks in Christchurch on May 3, 2019.
Sharks' Makazole Mapimpi (C) is tackled by Crusaders' Braydon Ennor during the Super Rugby match between New Zealand's Crusaders and South Africa's Sharks in Christchurch on May 3, 2019.
Image: Marty MELVILLE / AFP

Christchurch, New Zealand - Defending Super Rugby champions Canterbury Crusaders have maintained their nearly three-year undefeated streak at home after snatching an upset 21-21 draw with Coastal Sharks in Christchurch on Friday.

The Crusaders scored three tries to nil, but Sharks’ super-boot Curwin Bosch sent over seven penalties to give the South Africans hope against the defending champions.

“It showed character for the boys to be in there and build phases, but at the same time we made a lot of mistakes,” Crusaders back Mitch Hunt said.

The Sharks nabbed the first points with a Bosch penalty but the home side soon responded through a Codie Taylor converted try.

The Sharks continued to notch up the points through another two penalties, putting them up 9-7 at half-time.

Bosch’s accuracy with the boot continued to pay dividends, extending the lead to 12-7 soon after the restart.

But Jack Goodhue powered through some fierce defence to narrow the gap to 15-14.

Bosch continued to kick three-pointers but the Crusaders staged a late rally, with Hunt’s late converted try a fortunate leveller for the Crusaders.

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