The Crusaders got back to winning ways in stunning fashion after producing a dominant second half display to thrash the Reds 58-17 in a Super Rugby clash at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Friday. The hosts got the opening points of the match early on after Nemani Nadolo’s wonderful pass found Andrew Ellis, who collected and scored within the opening minute. Colin Slade got the extras to give his team a 7-0 lead after only two minutes played.
The visitors replied with a well-taken James O’Connor penalty before the Saders scored their second try of the match as Slade benefited from Daniel Carter’s graft. Todd Blackadder’s men extended their lead through a Slade penalty before being reduced to 14 men, after Dominic Bird was sin-binned in the 35th minute. The visitors capitalised through Samu Kerevi as the Australian powered his way over the line to score.
O’Connor slotted over the conversion as the Queensland side trailed 15-10 at the interval. The hosts started the second half much like the first as Nadolo intercepted O’Connor’s pass near the halfway mark and beat Lachlan Turner at the left-hand corner to score the try after a minute played. The home side pulled further away thanks to Slade’s 50th minute penalty.
A combination of lethal attacking from the hosts and hapless defending from the Queenslanders saw Blackadder’s boys score four converted tries in the space of 10 minutes through Nadolo, Sam Whitelock, Matt Todd and Jone Macilai-Toriwith, with the pick of the tries coming from Whitelock, who produced great running to beat five players on his way to the try line. Dominic Bird added the Canterbury franchise’s eighth try of the match before Chris Feauai-Sautia grabbed a consolation try for the Brisbane side in the dying minutes. O’Connor slotted away the conversion yet it proved to be insignificant as the Christchurch club ran out comfortable winners.