The Crusaders romped to a 57-28 win over the Chiefs on Saturday to claim their 19th consecutive victory. JON CARDINELLI reports.
The Crusaders and Chiefs remain at opposite ends of the Vodacom Super Rugby spectrum. The result in Christchurch on Saturday sees the Crusaders maintaining their perfect record in 2019, and the Chiefs slumping to their fourth straight loss.
It also marks the Crusaders’ 19th win on the bounce. While they were always expected to beat the battling Chiefs at home, the absence of a host of All Blacks was supposed to dilute their potency. In the end, however, the Crusaders ran in nine tries.
The Chiefs were their own worst enemies on attack and defence. Their kicking was inaccurate, while their one-on-one tackling was absolutely diabolical.
The Crusaders were quick to punish the visitors’ mistakes. They went to the break with a commanding 33-7 lead and with young fullback Will Jordan having scored two of the team’s five tries.
Michael Alaalatoa crashed over early in the second half to consolidate the Crusaders’ position. Scott Robertson deployed some of his senior players from the bench to ensure that his side finished the game strongly.
The Crusaders took their foot off the pedal once they had established a 57-14 lead. The Chiefs scored two more tries at the death, and yet that late surge could not add any respectability to the final scoreline.
Crusaders – Tries: Braydon Ennor, Sevu Reece, Will Jordan (2), Andrew Makalio, Michael Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor (2), Bryn Hall. Conversions: Richie Mo’unga (5), Brett Cameron.
Chiefs – Tries: Taleni Seu, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Jack Debreczeni, Mitchell Brown. Conversions: Damian McKenzie (3), Debreczeni.
Crusaders – 15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty (c), 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.
Subs: 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 (c), 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Aidan Ross.
Subs: 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.
Photo: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images