Super Rugby: Crusaders hang on to beat Blues at Eden Park

The Crusaders have started their 2019 campaign with a 24-22 win over the Blues at Eden Park.

The visitors were clinical on defence throughout the first half - led by their tight five at scrum time.

Manasa Mataele scored the opening try of the match off the back of a mistake from Blues fullback Michael Collins.

The visitors scored a penalty try at the end of the first half which saw Tom Robinson sent off with a yellow card.

The red and blacks took all the momentum into the break but it was the Blues who came out firing - Akira Ioane fended off Richie Mo'unga to score after great work from Michael Collins and Patrick Tuipulotu down the right wing.

An explosion of All Black talent off the bench for the home side helped the take the lead through reserve prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi who scored under the posts.

But the back-to-back champions got their forward pack rolling and it was Mataele who scored his second of the night after a George Bridge break sent the Fijian over.

Another penalty try to the visitors took the score to 24-17 with 18 minutes to go.

Augustine Pulu scored the final try of the night after a staunch lineout drive from the hosts.

Harry Plummer missed the chance to tie the game with a conversion opportunity.

But with two minutes to go, Plummer, found himself facing a 45-metre penalty kick to take a one-point lead - the 20-year-old on debut struck the kick well but it was wide of the posts and the champions were able to hang on to win their first match of the 2019 season.

Newshub.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz