Published: 10:06, 04 October 2021
| Updated: 10:52, 04 October 2021
by David Haigh
Canterbury were beaten without scoring as the gales and rain swept across the Marine Travel Ground.
Conditions were made for hard-nosed West Country packs and Crusaders did not disappoint.
Their forwards bossed the game and made sure that when it came their turn to face the elements a 12-point lead was more than enough.
The city side might have hoped that restricting the visitors to two first-half tries would give them a decent chance of victory, but they were contained so efficiently that any optimism vanished long before the end.
As the Crusaders' defence stifled them, Canterbury's frustrations were reflected by a slew of technical penalty offences and and scrambled decision making, but in the early minutes of the match there was a glimpse of what might have been under different conditions.
The city backs ran from deep to create a great chance that was lost when the final pass missed the support runner. It was the first and last glimpse of daylight as Crusaders exploited the wind to establish territory and took the lead with a driving maul try from flanker Tom Anderson.
Canterbury did well to resist the pressure they were under but conceded a second try to centre Tom Price from a charged-down clearance kick. Ben Bolster added the conversion but at the break the city side could look back on a strong defensive effort.
Turning that that to their advantage, however, proved too much. Driving mauls and wet weather are natural bedfellows and Dings used them effectively before Josh Lloyd added a third score to strengthen their grip.
Streetwise and committed to holding on to possession, they lured Canterbury into so many errors and misjudgements they cruised home in comfort.
Canterbury travel to Barnstaple on Saturday.