CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — The Christchurch-based Crusaders improved their first-place standing in Super Rugby on Friday with a 24-13 win over the Wellington-based Hurricanes in a match in which all three Barrett brothers placed their names on the score sheet.
Lock Scott Barrett scored the Crusaders' opening try and Jordie and Beauden Barrett kicked penalties as the Crusaders went to halftime leading 7-6 in a match played in heavy rain.
Second-half tries to prop Michael Alaalatoa and backrower Heiden Bedwell-Curtis clinched the Crusaders' ninth win in a row and ended the Hurricanes' winning streak at 10 games.
The Crusaders lead the tournament with 50 points from the Hurricanes with 45, although the Hurricanes have a match in hand. The teams were separated by a single point before the game and a close contest was expected.
The Crusaders lost four All Blacks — lock and captain Sam Whitelock, center Ryan Crotty, backrower Jordan Taufua and prop Tim Perry — to injuries and All Blacks props Owen Franks and Joe Moody to suspensions. Despite those setbacks, they still dominated the rain-drenched match in which they spent most of the second half camped in the Hurricanes' territory.
"We knew the wet weather was going to come and we had a plan for it," Crusaders captain Matt Todd said. "Credit to the boys, they stuck to it and were disciplined. It wasn't pretty at times but we just did what we had to to look after the ball and keep the scoreboard ticking over."
At Melbourne, Australia, the Rebels beat the Sunwolves 40-13, holding the Tokyo-based side scoreless in the second half after leading by eight points after 40 minutes. The Sunwolves came into the match on a two-match winning streak after losing their first nine games.
The Jaguares won their sixth match in a row, beating South Africa's Durban-based Sharks 29-13 at Buenos Aires. Left wing Ramiro Moyano scored three tries on his return to the starting lineup.
Bautista Delguy clinched the match with a try in the 70th minute before Moyana added his third try in the final minute. Sharks lock Ruan Botha was red-carded in the 73th minute for a dangerous tackle.