PA Sport

Crusaders win Twickenham clash

Crusaders win Twickenham clash
By Reuters

28/03/2011 at 05:17Updated 28/03/2011 at 05:26

Flyhalf Dan Carter scored 22 points to inspire the Canterbury Crusaders to a 44-28 victory over South Africa's Sharks at Twickenham on Sunday in the first Super rugby match played outside the Southern hemisphere.

Forced to play home matches away from their Lancaster Park base after the stadium was damaged in the Christchurch earthquake last month, the Crusaders treated the crowd to an expansive display of attacking rugby.

Carter added three penalties and four conversions to his first-half try before being forced off through injury and winger Sean Maitland claimed two tries as the Crusaders notched up their fourth win of the season.

Two Carter penalties gave his side an early lead before Sharks flanker Willem Alberts bounced out of two tackles to score the game's first try.

Maitland and fellow winger Zac Guildford, fullback Israel Dagg and Carter crossed the line to secured a bonus point before halftime and watching All Blacks coach Graham Henry must have been impressed by centre Sonny Bill Williams.

The former rugby league player's ability to offload in contact created a series of opportunities for his team mates.

Henry would also have enjoyed the dominance of the Crusaders scrum against a Sharks front row which included Springbok captain John Smit and fellow internationals Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis.

The Sharks battled back into the game with tries from flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Alistair Hargreaves and Odwa Ndungane.

But Maitland's second sprint to the line with 14 minutes remaining eased the Crusaders' nerves after Carter and fellow All Black Kieran Read had been forced off through injury.

The seven-times Super rugby champion Crusaders moved up to third in the standings and the Sharks remained fourth