The Crusaders’ 34-8 win over the Highlanders at Rugby League Park, Christchurch on Saturday was enough for them to secure the top spot on the New Zealand Super Rugby conference. The Crusaders and Highlanders went to the match looking for maximum points. It would be the Canterbury franchise that secured the second spot on the combined log as they got an early penalty and Dan Carter scored the first three points before, minutes later, slotting another penalty to make it 6-0.
Landers flyhalf Hayden Parker reduced the score to 6-3 as the Crusaders were still looking for the first try of the game. Just before half-time Matt Todd scored a try to give the home team a 17-3 advantage at the break. In the second the Saders continued where they left off as Todd scored his second try of the match, using the same move (driving maul). Carter kept the kicks coming and at 24-3 it seemed all over as a contest already.
The big powerful Nemani Nadolo scored his first try of the match in the 47th minutes but Carter missed the conversion. In the 65th minute Richard Buckman scored the try for the visitors to make it 29-8, but Corey Flynn scored the bonus point try for the Crusaders in the 71st minutes. Despite Carter’s missed conversion it still finished 34-8 in favour of the Christchurch side.