Crusaders demolish brainless Chiefs
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Crusaders kept their unbeaten record in pristine condition with a remarkable 57-28 win over the Chiefs on Saturday at AMI Stadium.
Well an upset were never on the cards, and the reigning champions made sure of if as they extended their unbeaten run to 19 consecutive wins.
The result is certainly a massive warning sign to any Super Rugby team who is thinking of claiming the crown. While for the Chiefs, the defeat just adds to their already gloomy campaign.
The hosts outscored the hapless Chiefs nine tries to four.
Fullback find Will Jordan scored two tries and Sevu Reece made the most of his lifeline as the champions flattened the Chiefs.
All Blacks’ hooker Codie Taylor, in his first outing of the year, also scored twice in the nine-tries-to-four romp.
Despite the lopsided scoreline, the Crusaders did go off the boil in the closing minutes which Taylor said was a concern.
“We slacked off last week against the Reds and so we played a good 65 minutes today which was awesome to see, but we’ve still got a lot to work on in that last 15. It seems to be a habit at the moment,” he said.
Chiefs centre Anton Lienert-Brown said his side made too many errors to be competitive.
“The Crusaders were just too good. Every error we made they punished us,” he said.
Former Waikato player Reece, making his Crusaders debut after having a contract with Irish club Connacht axed due to a court appearance on an assault charge, was instrumental in two quick tries to give the red-and-blacks an early 12-point buffer.
The 21-year-old Jordan then stepped up with his exceptional pace and precise support lines to have a role in three more tries before the break.
The bruising local derby inflicted casualties, with a crunching tackle by Nepo Laulala on fellow All Blacks frontrower Joe Moody forcing Moody from the field inside the first five minutes.
The Crusaders first two tries were the result of Reece outsmarting Damian McKenzie.
He was perfectly placed to field a McKenzie cross-kick and mount a counter-attack which resulted in the first try to Braydon Ennor and he intercepted a McKenzie pass to score the second.
But the Crusaders pack, with Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock, Matt Todd and Owen Franks on All Blacks-enforced rest, along with Moody injured, were under pressure at scrum time.
It resulted in a Chiefs’ try to backrower Taleni Seu to narrow the gap to 12-7 before the Crusaders stepped up a gear with two tries to Jordan and one to hulking hooker Andrew Makalio — to lead 33-7 at half-time.
Prop Michael Alaalatoa rumbled over after the resumption for the Crusaders to extend their lead to 40 points.
The Chiefs used their scrum power to set up their second try, to left wing Etene Nanai-Seturo.
The Crusaders hit back with two tries to Taylor and one to Bryn Hall before the Chiefs finished off with tries to Jack Debreczeni and Mitchell Brown
Man of the match: There might have been plenty of tries, and players like Sevu Reece, Ruand Crotty and Will Jordan are truly worth mentioning. However our nod goes to centre Jack Goodhue.
Tries: Ennor, Reece, Jordan 2, Makalio, Alaalatoa, Taylor 2, Hall
Cons: Mo’Unga 5, Cameron
Tries: Seu, Nanai-Seturo, Brown, Debreczeni
Cons: McKenzie 3, Debreczeni
As it happened: Crusaders v Chiefs
* Follow our LIVE blog below. If you are reading this on a mobile phone, it may take a while to upload. Please be patient. We apologise for the inconvenience!
Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty (captain), 11 Braydon Ennor, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Ere Enari, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Mitchell Dunshea, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Harry Allan, 18 George Bower, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 David Havili.
Chiefs: 15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick (captain), 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Jack Debreczeni, 23 Alex Nankivell.
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy (Australia), Nick Hogan (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)