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Match Report: Crusaders v Highlanders in Dunedin


Well, it wasn’t to be in Dunedin for our boys versus the Highlanders. Our Southern brothers took out the contest 32-29 in front of bumper crowds. 


Not to be put off by solar storms lighting up the sky, Forsyth Barr welcomed more than 20,000 fans for the Saturday night Southern derby. A frantic first half included tries from both sides and stand out performances from Sevu Reece, Chay Fihaki, and Codie Taylor – the latter not missing a beat despite a six month non-playing sabbatical. 


Some moments we loved to see 


  • Codie Taylor stepping into captaincy days before kick off and playing 65 minutes. The veteran was powerful in the breakdown, lead with authority and portrayed the characteristics of a great Crusader. Absolutely stoked to have the man back. 
  • Chay Fihaki having one of his best games yet in the jersey




  • That period between 10” and 20”, some Sevu magic and an epic team effort to carry the ball forward for Dallas McLeod to touch down. Chay curling conversions like a casual Tuesday training at Rugby Park. 
  • Sevu adding to his try tally (57) and securing his place as the competition’s top try scorer in 2024. 
  • Antonio Shalfoon becoming Crusader #291 when he came on at 60” in jersey 19. Once a Crusader, always a Crusader. 





  • Our versality shown required. McLeod and Aumua come off, Reece and Havili move into the centre, Springer took the wing and Reihana slotted into 10. Impressive ability across the backline. 


So we rally again, we review, we adjust, and we prepare for the Brumbies next week in Canberra. Just three weeks remain of the regular Super Rugby Pacific season, the Crusaders closing it out with back-to-back home games versus the Blues and Moana Pasifika. Back your boys when they need it most and get down to Apollo Projects Stadium for the last dance of 2024.