Twickeham became the first country outside the SANZAR nations to host a Super Rugby match when the Crusaders faced off against Sharks at the London ground on this day in rugby history in 2011.
The game was forced to be moved from New Zealand after Crusaders home ground, AMI Stadium, was damaged in an earthquake the previous month. The Christchurch based side contact the Rugby Football Union (RFU) about hosting the event.
"It's fantastic news that we were able to find a date that would enable us to host the game as the centrepiece of a weekend of fundraising for the people of Christchurch,” an RFU spokesperson said about the match. “Having some of the southern hemisphere's best players on display at Twickenham will be a treat for all English-based fans of the Super 15.
--- The Super 15, now known as Super Rugby, is growing in popularity in the U.S. Find your team and wear the colors. The World Rugby Shop has a growing selection of Super Rugby gear. ---
The match-up featured two of Super Rugby’s top sides and were loaded with players from the national teams of the All Blacks and Springboks. The Crusaders roster included fly-half Dan Carter and centre Sonny Bill Williams, as well as an injured All Black captain Richie McCaw while the Sharks roster included Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira and Ryan Kankowski and South Africa captain, John Smit.
"That's the best side (Crusaders) have had for a while," said John Plumtree, the Sharks' Kiwi head coach. "They're the benchmark of the competition. Everyone's going to have to lift their game to get up to where they are."
And the New Zealand side showed what Plumtree was talking about in their 44-28 win with open attacking running lines.
The match was also designed to bring awareness and raise funds for the relief efforts in Christchurch and New Zealand.
"It is great to see the rugby family pull together for such a worthy cause and we would like to thank all our stakeholders for their flexibility and support in making this happen. We now have less than two weeks to get tickets sold so we would urge supporters to get online and buy soon."
The match raised £175,000 in ticket revenues.
Crusaders Dagg; Maitland, Fruean (A Whitelock, 64), Williams, Guildford; Carter (Berquist, 63), Ellis (Fotuali'i, 64); Crockett (B Franks, 54), Flynn MacDonald, 51), O Franks, Thorn (Jack, 69), S Whitelock, G Whitelock, Todd, Read (capt; Poff, h/t).
Tries Maitland 2, Carter, Dagg, Guildford. Cons Carter 4, Berquist. Pens Carter 3.
Sharks Ludik; O Ndungane, Terblanche, Bosman, Mvovo (Pietersen, 50); J-L Potgieter (Jacobs, 52), McLeod (Hoffmann, 69); Smit (capt; Mtawarira, 50), B du Plessis, J du Plessis (Van Staden, Sykes (Mostert, 63), Hargreaves, Daniel, Alberts (Botes, 67), Kankowski.
Tries Alberts, Potgeiter, Hargreaves, Ndungane. Con Potgeiter. Pens Potgeiter 2.
Referee S Walsh (New Zealand). Attendance 35,094.
1883 – Adrian Dura Stoop born in London (Harlequin Great)