With the Bennies away game called off and Penrith also free, the Crusaders headed down to Winters Park 4g pitch on a Friday night with 18. That's right, a full complement of players. Unfortunately lockdown hasn't been kind to our props so we started with uncontested scrums, but at least we had a game of rugby.
And a big crowd at Penrith were treated to a very enjoyable and entertaining game.
Crusaders started well and had most of the territory advantage for the first 30mins. It was no surprise then to see John Bowman crash his way over the line to put the Crusaders in front. Shortly after Rob Little took advantage of a ball appearing out the side of a ruck close to the try line and dived over for the second, converted by Steve Benson.
Penrith were dangerous on the break, and some solid defence was needed to prevent them scoring, but the side saw out the half for a 12-0 lead at half time.
Penrith upped the intensity at the start of the second half, and after some confusion at the breakdown, scored round the side of the ruck for an unconverted try. The Crusaders had to absorb some determined Penrith attacks, but with nearly 10 minutes to go, the Crusaders backs launched an attack down the left, with Andy Glendinning dodging a few defenders, dragging man and ball over the line for the third, which he converted.
Crusaders soaked up any further Penrith attacks and ended up with a kickable penalty on the stroke of full time, Glendinning converting for the win.
So 18+ months of waiting and the winner was rugby. You couldn't wipe the smiles off the players faces, and a large crowd were thoroughly entertained, with a full bar afterwards.
That's what it's all about, isn't it?