Live updates: Super Rugby - Crusaders v Sunwolves at Brisbane

Fulltime - Crusaders 49 Sunwolves 14

Crusaders 49 (Reece 2, Christie, Romano, Havili, Ennor, Burke tries; Cameron five conversions, Burke two conversions) Sunwolves 14 (Hyne, April tries; April two conversions)

80th minute - TRY to Burke

The Sunwolves attack breaks down again and Mataele hacks the ball downfield, where Reece eventually recover possession.

The ball moves left, then right, with Burke finding space to squeeze through the defence for a try on debut. He converts after the siren.

Great performance from the Crusaders second-stringers, especially when they were two players short. That result puts them back atop the Super Rugby table.

78th minute - Sunwolves are hot on attack, after hacking the ball downfield, and Burke drops the ball behind his own goal-line. One last chance for the Sunwolves, as Reece rejoins the action.

76th minute - TRY to Ennor

Crusaders are soaking up time here, stringing together 19 phases, before Mataele breaks a tackle, offloads to McAlister, who finds Ennor looming wide.

On debut, Fergus Burke converts.

74th minute - Ennor forces a turnover in the tackle and the Crusaders mount another attack.

72nd minute - Crusaders are on attack, after Bridge makes a half-break, but Havili bobbles the ball and the move breaks down.

69th minute - Sunwolves take a lineout from the penalty and try to maul it across. When the ball comes free, Dargaville heads towards the line, but Bridge forces the fumble with his trysaving tackle.

68th minute - Sunwolves mount an attack and as the ball goes right, Reece appears to deliberately knock down the final pass. This could be a penalty try and yellow card.

Luckily, Bridge is covering and could have made the tackle, but Reece is carded and now Crusaders are down to 13.

67th minute - Crusaders spill the ball in midfield and Stolberg hacks the ball ahead, but can't regather and knocks on.

Video referee is checking possible foul play from Hugh Roach, who appears to lash out with his elbow on an opposition tackler and connects with his head.

Roach's Crusaders debut is short-lived... he's shown a red card and heads to the sideline. That will make this contest interesting now.

63rd minute - TRY to Havili

Sublime skills from the Crusaders, with Sanders making a key contribution, before Cameron provides the assist for the flanker to score out wide.

Cameron maintains his perfect kicking record for the day.

62nd minute - Christie is leaving the field with blood coming from his nose, but the concerns seems to be his hamstring.

57th minute - TRY to Reece

Well, didn't take long for the Crusaders to respond, as the ball moves left and Reece has too much gas for lock Stolberg. He races away for his second try of the day, Cameron converts.

54th minute - TRY to April

From a breakdown, April finds an inside angle that beats Hall and Tom Sanders for an unchallenged run to the line. April converts his own try.

52nd minute - April scythes through the Crusaders defence and makes big metres. He puts a kick down field, Reece dives on the ball just short of his line and the Sunwolves are penalised for killing the ruck.

49th minute - Faingaanuku makes another run, bouncing off tackles, but his pass goes astray.

42nd minute - Sunwolves force an error in the Crusaders 22 and have the feed to an attacking scrum. Massive push from the Crusaders forces the turnover and they clear.

41st minute - TRY to Romano

From the kickoff, Faingaanuku surges upfield and when he is halted, the Crusaders forwards take over. Romano seems tackled short, but he's shoved to within reach of the line and he reaches out to finish the job.

Cameron converts. Great start to the half.

Crusaders 14 (Reece, Christie tries; Cameron two conversions) Sunwolves 7 (Hyne try; April conversion)

40th minute - Halftime arrives, with the Crusaders ahead, but it's been a struggle.

39th minute - Moriya makes a break up midfield to put the Sunwolves on attack. 

They earn an attacking lineout and attempt to maul over the line, but the Crusaders forwards force a turnover.

35th minute TRY to Reece

Crusaders win a lineout just outside the 22 and Faingaanuku makes a break in midfield. Bridge and Reece try to work their magic out wide, the ball comes left and the Sunwolves are offside.

Playing under advantage, Ennor throws a long pass right to Reece, who is unopposed.

Cameron slots the conversion.

31st minute - TRY to Ben Hyne

Terrible throw from McAlister overshoots the lineout, Sunwolves recover and the lock stretches out to score. April converts to level scores.

30th minute - Te'o puts a good kick into Crusaders 22 and the Sunwolves will now try to disrupt the defensive lineout.

26th minute - Crusaders threaten again, but Bridge's offload to Romano looks forward and Romano's pass to Reece is definitely forward.

22nd minute - With the Crusaders try to break out of their own 22, Bridge has to hold off a pass and takes a high tackle, which is penalised.

19th minute - TRY to Christie

Crusaders building in midfield, with Romano handling. Bridge flicks a backhanded pass to Ennor, who provides the final pass for his flanker to score. Cameron converts.

14th minute - Crusaders forwards are pounding on the goal-line, but Sunwolves force a turnover in the maul.

12th minute - Playing under advantage, Cameron kicks wide for Reece, but overcooks it. They go back for a penalty and another lineout.

11th minute - Hall makes a big break off a midfield scrum, carried on by Reece. Sunwolves are penalised for offside. Cameron kicks to the corner.

Eighth minute - Crusaders making a few handling errors that have stymied their progress - Luke Romano guilty of a couple. 

Fourth minute - Crusaders have an attacking scrum, five metres out and near the right touchline. Forward rumble towards the posts, but the ball is spilled.

First minute - Unbelievably, the Crusaders are lining up in what looks like the Blues warm-up jerseys... just like the Hurricanes did on Friday night. Must be a run on these outfits at the adidias outlet.

Players observe a moment's silence for victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings last year.


Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the Super Rugby clash between the Crusaders and Sunwolves from Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.

This fixture was transferred to Queensland, after Japanese rugby was basically closed down by the coronavirus, and essentially acts as a curtain-raiser to the Reds v Bulls match later tonight.

Against the 1-5 Sunwolves, Coach Scott Robertson has taken the opportunity to rest many of his key players, including All Blacks Joe Moody, Scott Barrett, Codie Taylor, Richie Mo'unga and Jack Goodhue.

That's always a risky strategy against the Sunwolves, who have a knack for springing the upset against teams that take them lightly.

This will be a real test of the Crusaders' depth, already under the microscope after losing several long-serving internationals after last year's World Cup.

Crusaders: 1-George Bower, 2-Brodie McAlister, 3-Oliver Jager, 4-Luke Romano, 5-Mitchell Dunshea, 6-Sione Havili, 7-Tom Christie, 8-Cullen Grace, 9-Bryn Hall (c), 10-Brett Cameron, 11-Leicester Faingaanuku, 12-Dallas McLeod, 13-Braydon Ennor, 14-Sevu Reece, 15-George Bridge 

Reserves: 16-Hugh Roach, 17-Isi Tuungafasi, 18-Michael Alaalatoa, 19-Whetu Douglas, 20-Tom Sanders, 21-Ereatara Enari, 22-Fergus Burke, 23-Manasa Mataele

Sunwolves: 1-Nic Mayhew, 2-Efitusi Ma'afu, 3-Conraad van Vuuren, 4-Ben Hyne, 5-Michael Stolberg, 6-Justin Downey, 7-Mitch Jacobson, 8-Jake Schatz (co-captain), 9-Rudy Paige, 10-Garth April, 11-Tautalatasi Tasi, 12-Ben Te'o, 13-Keisuke Moriya (co-captain), 14-Siosaia Fifita,  15-James Dargaville  

Reserves: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Jarred Adams, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Kotaro Yatabe, 20 Brendon O’Connor, 21 Naoto Saito, 22 Shogo Nakano, 23 Yoshizumi Takeda

Halfback Hall to lead under-strength Crusaders

The Crusaders have five key players on All Blacks rest for their trip to play the Sunwolves in Brisbane. 

The round seven clash was shifted from Tokyo to Suncorp Stadium, due to growing concerns around the spread of coronavirus.

Head coach Scott Robertson has opted to sit World Cup All Blacks Joe Moody, regular captain Scott Barrett, Codie Taylor, Richie Mo'unga and Jack Goodhue, leaving halfback Bryn Hall to captain an inexperienced squad.

An all-new starting front row will take the field this week, while Luke Romano (lock) and Sione Havili (blindside flanker) both earn starts, and Cullen Grace switches to No.8. 

Bryn Hall in action for the Crusaders
Bryn Hall in action for the Crusaders. Photo credit: Photosport

Twenty-year-old Fergus Burke will get his first taste of Super Rugby against the Sunwolves, providing cover at first five-eighth for Brett Cameron, who replaces Mo'unga, while experienced Hugh Roach of Tasman joins the side as cover for hooker Brodie McAlister.

"It's really exciting to give these players an opportunity this week," Robertson said. "We're fortunate to have a great group of young players coming through, who all have big futures ahead of them.

"They've been training really consistently in our environment and we look forward to seeing them take their opportunity on Saturday. 

"We also welcome Whetu [Douglas] back from injury. He's an important leader in our group and has worked hard to come back, so to be able to name him this week is awesome."

More to come