Crusaders 'desperately' want CCTV footage of alleged incident

New Zealand Rugby and the Crusaders have brought in lawyer Steph Dyhrberg to investigate the claims that emerged following separate late-night incidents while the Crusaders were in South Africa this month.

New Zealand Rugby and the Crusaders say they are treating the allegations seriously - though they clash with the players' own version of events.

The first incident allegedly occurred in a Cape Town bar during the weekend of 11 and 12 May after the team arrived in the city following their game against the Bulls in Pretoria on Friday night (South African time).

Crusaders held to draw by Stormers after last-ditch penalty goal

A Jean-Luc du Plessis penalty goal after the hooter salvaged the Stormers a 19-19 draw with the reigning champions in Cape Town on Sunday morning (NZT). 

Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock could only shake his head, knowing the penalty Nic Berry blew for a high shot by replacement prop Oli Jager was touch and go. 

There was no doubt also lingering frustration from the contentious TMO call in the 75th minute, when South African Marius Jonker rubbed out what appeared to be a superb game-clinching try by wing Sevu Reece.

Richie Mo'unga powers Crusaders to bonus point win over Bulls

A week after sitting out their scrappy 21-21 draw with the Sharks, the fleet-footed pivot scored two tries in the opening 22 minutes and put on a play-making clinic to fuel the red and blacks' bonus point win at Loftus Versfeld. 

Romping past the second-placed Bulls propelled the Crusaders seven points clear of the Hurricanes in the New Zealand conference and, with just four regular season matches remaining on their schedule, it was another big stride towards sealing the top seed. 

Clinical Crusaders too good for Highlanders

It was the first time the two teams had met this Super Rugby season, after their March 16 match in Dunedin was cancelled following the Christchurch mosque shootings the day before.

Although the Crusaders initially looked out of sorts and trailed by three at half-time, they proved brutally efficient in the second spell in amassing five tries for a comprehensive win which extended their unbeaten run at home to 24 matches.

Crusaders name, swords and horses have got to go, says Muslim advocate

On Wednesday the Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby announced they would this season seek feedback on the Crusaders name, giving two options.

One was to remove the sword-wielding horsemen that has been part of pre-match entertainment, the second was to change the branding, as well as the Crusaders name that has been with the team since 1996.

Changing the imagery only would be an insult and defeat the purpose altogether, advocate Guled Mire told Radio New Zealand.

Crusaders capitalise on Canes' mistakes

Will Jordan and Braydon Ennor also crossed for the visitors who moved to 24 points on the table, giving themselves some breathing room ahead of the Hurricanes (19) at the top of the New Zealand conference.

Ngani Laumape scored the Hurricanes' only try in the match in which both sides committed numerous errors while the Crusaders defence forced several turnovers when the hosts were on attack.

Crusaders chasing their first road win against Hurricanes since 2012

The lock said so himself when asked what makes the Hurricanes such a tricky customer in the capital, where they have not lost to the Crusaders since 2012. They have won 25 of their last 26 home fixtures.

Put it this way, half of Crusaders coach Scott Robertson's four Super Rugby defeats since taking over the red and blacks in 2017 went down at Westpac Stadium. His overall record is 38-1-4 leading into Friday night's clash against the Hurricanes in Wellington

Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett primed for clash of All Blacks' pivots

Denied a head-to-head clash between the All Blacks' pivots in round two in Christchurch because Barrett wasn't back from an extended break, Crusaders first-five Mo'unga and his Hurricanes counterpart will line up opposite one another in Wellington on Friday night. 

The last time they clashed - during last year's semifinal in Christchurch - Mo'unga outplayed Barrett in a 30-12 win, the second time he did so during the red and blacks' march to a ninth Super Rugby title. 

No excuses from Crusaders

The two-time defending champions have been beaten 20-12 by the Waratahs at the Sydney Cricket Ground, ending their winning run at 19.

"It was a tough week but look we're Crusaders, we don't make excuses we just needed to be better in a lot of parts of the game," coach Scott Robertson said.

The teams stood arm-in-arm in a circle on the pitch for a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the Christchurch attack before the start of the match.

NZ Sports minister backs discussion over Crusaders name change

The Christchurch shootings have prompted discussion over whether a the franchise's name, which is linked to the Crusades against Muslims in the 11th to 13th centuries should remain.

The Crusaders logo depicts a medieval knight swinging a sword, while horsemen often ride into the Christchurch stadium ahead of matches dressed as medieval knights.

The Crusaders have said they will discuss the matter with the Muslim community and Robertson says that's appropriate but he won't say whether the name should be changed.