Saders suffer third defeat

The Reds scored five tries to beat the Crusaders 35-12 at Ballymore on Friday.

It was the Saders' third successive pre-season defeat following losses to the Highlanders (29-27) and Hurricanes (41-31).

The win was a confidence-booster for the Reds, who lost their first trial game to the Rebels (28-13).

For the Reds, scrumhalf Will Genia and lock James Horwill excelled like game-breakers of old, with Karmichael Hunt producing a solid performance in his first game at flyhalf in five years. However, James O'Connor is still expected to start at 10 for the Reds' opening Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Brumbies in Canberra next Friday, with Hunt at fullback.

The Crusaders, who had six All Blacks in their starting side including Dan Carter, trailed 28-0 at the break. While the visitors 'won' the second half, they still slumped to a heavy defeat. 

Reds – Tries: James Horwill (2), Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, Samu Kerevi, penalty try. Conversions: Karmichael Hunt (4), Nick Frisby.
Crusaders – Tries: Luke Romano, Matt Todd. Conversions: Dan Carter (2).

Reds – 15 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Anthony Fainga'a, 11 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 10 Karmichael Hunt, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Curtis Browning, 5 Marco Kotze, 4 James Horwill, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper (c),
Subs: Ben Daley, James Hanson, Sef Faagase, Ed O'Donoghue, Beau Robinson, Nick Frisby, Duncan Paia'aua, Campbell Magnay.

Crusaders – 15 Colin Slade, 14 Robbie Fruean, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd (c), 6 Jimmy Tupou, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Subs: Ben Funnell, Ged Robinson, Joe Moody, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Scott Barrett, Tom Sanders, Billy Guyton, Nathaniel Apa, Nafi Tuitavaki, David Havili.

Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt