Crusaders Kick Off 2012 with a Win

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25th May 2012, 02:06pm - Views: 1772

The Western Crusaders Started the 2011 senior season with a big win against premiership contenders, the Croydon Rangers.

On a greasy pitch, Saturday afternoon, the Western Crusaders ventured to Springfield Reserve in Croydon to take on the Rangers.

It didnt start well for the Crusaders, a young team stacked with first year players, saw the Rangers offense move the ball down the field and scored their first Touchdown on their first series. Rangers 7 0.

Felipe sanchez (#40) lead blocks for JB Damons (#23) during Saturays game. This early pressure seemed to wake the Crusaders up and it was now the Crusaders offensive units turn to march the ball on the Rangers defense. Quarterback Clinton Downing, along with senior players Brent Weeks and Tyson Garnham lead by example, making great plays and kept the ball moving. This hard offensive work rewarded the Crusaders in a Touchdown of their own to Brent Weeks, who also scored the following two-point conversion. Crusaders 8 7

The Rangers next drive, saw them take some additional risks, with Rangers quaterback Mark Ursu attempt a pass that was intercepted by Crusaders Outside Linebacker, Ryan RJ Raquel and returned for a Touchdown.

An arm wrestle ensued, with neither team giving an inch until Crusaders rookie wide receiver Lachlan Shilton stepping up and snatched a great catch in double coverage. Tyson Garnham would go on to score the two point conversion.

This saw out the Half and the Crusaders went in with a 22-7 lead.

The second half began and the arm wrestle continued, despite great efforts by Felipe Sanchez, JB Damons and Damien Griffen, the Crusaders were never able to transform great execution and field position into more points on the scoreboard.

The Rangers then scored late in the third quarter on a deep pass, making the score 22-13 and it was time for the Crusaders D (defense) to take charge of the game. They did so, with a massive hit by Luigi Samson on the Rangers Tight End, which forced a fumble that was recovered by Alex Tuilau. Unfortunately the Crusaders offense wasnt able to capitalise on this and score again due to some great defensive work by the Rangers.

The Rangers next possession saw them score making it 22-20 (Crusaders in front). Again, despite the hard work, the Crusaders offense could not turn possession into points. The Rangers took over with a little over two minutes left and did their best to try to register the winning score, but some big hits by Oscar Sosa and Alan Fisher, kept them in check and finally an errant pass was intercepted in the end zone by Ryan Raquel, his second pick of the day and the Crusaders offense would take the ball until time expired.

The game was a hard-fought win, but Head Coach Glenn Parke was extremely happy with the result, saying Every player put in for the team today! It wasnt glamorous or pretty, but they [Crusaders] all worked hard and come away with the win. Im really impressed with the way our rookies performed in their first official hit out for the club, they will improve on today, as will the whole team. They now know what it takes to win and how hard they have to work for each other to get the points!

To find out more, go to western crusaders

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