4th December 2023

The champion Crusaders unearthed a brand new gem to interrupt Rebels hearts late within the Melbourne evening for a 43-27 Tremendous Rugby Pacific win at AAMI Park on Saturday.

The Rebels led by 12 factors at halftime and had been nonetheless on monitor for an almighty upset after they held a slender 27-26 benefit with simply 10 minutes to play.

Enter an unlikely Crusaders hero in younger bench hooker Ioane Moananu, who was summoned throughout the Tasman as a late alternative for Codie Taylor.

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Crusaders hooker channels Superman

With “stay within the second” written on his wrist tape, Moananu confirmed uncommon energy to shrug off the sort out makes an attempt of Rebels forwards Josh Kemeny and Josh Canham and rating the go-ahead strive.

Moananu then channelled Superman by pretending to tear his jersey open in celebration.

“Ioane, wow, he is come from nowhere. Keven Mealamu 2.0,” Crusaders coach Scott Robertson advised Stan Sport, evaluating Moananu to the nuggety All Blacks nice.

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Keven Mealamu of the All Blacks is tackled by Digby Ioane and Dan Vickerman of the Wallabies. (Getty)

“Yesterday morning (Friday), he flew over a day later (than the remainder of the workforce) so he was right here simply earlier than captain’s run yesterday. Look he nailed it, did not he?

“Simply his footwork and his energy, he is like somewhat Sevu Reece within the ahead pack for us.”

Moananu’s happiness was infectious as he defined his celebration.

Ioane Moananu of the Crusaders on the way in which to scoring a strive. (Getty)

”Simply made it up on the spot,” Moananu advised Stan Sport’s Sera Naiqama.

“I noticed Superman, one of many folks within the crowd in a Superman costume and simply did it. It regarded good, it regarded good on TV. It simply comes within the second and simply acquired to do it.”

Moananu mentioned he was getting ready for an excellent evening’s sleep when he acquired the call-up.

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“They acquired me on like a three o’clock flight within the morning from New Zealand so I needed to get again on the books and study the lineout as fast as attainable. It went fairly effectively.”

The Rebels scored three first half tries to Brad Wilkin, Vaiolini Ekuasi and Ryan Louwrens however had been unable to go on with the job.

It was an analogous story to their earlier residence match in opposition to the Blues, when additionally they led at halftime earlier than fading in a 54-17 loss.

“Rating first after which you may get somewhat little bit of momentum,” Robertson mentioned of the halftime message.

“And we knew historical past confirmed the Rebels, in that second half, get somewhat bit caught within the mud. We simply needed to carry ball, construct strain and end and we did.

“It occurs typically, the the standard of your bench, the expertise of your bench and typically you get a few accidents in vital areas, , hastily it may fall off,” Robertson mentioned of the second half Rebels woes.

“I do not need to go too deep into it. We had been behind , they had been good for a protracted time frame. However one thing that we’ll have to handle.”

The win lifted the Crusaders (6-2) to 3rd on the ladder whereas the Rebels are 10th with a 2-6 document.

The Crusaders have a mouthwatering date with the unbeaten Chiefs subsequent weekend whereas the Rebels tackle winless Moana Pasifika.

Leilani Nathan of the Waratahs is tackled at AAMI Park. (Getty)

In the meantime, the NSW Waratahs locked up prime spot heading into the Tremendous W semifinals by beating the Rebels 29-Zero at AAMI Park.

The Waratahs are 5-Zero whereas the Rebels end their season with a 0-5 document.

“It is by no means simple down right here, they are a stable opposition. I really feel like we left some factors on the market however a win’s a win,” Waratahs star Naiqama mentioned on Stan Sport.

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