Crusaders: Blues ‘bloody good’
The fifth round of Super Rugby Aotearoa should be a crackerjack as two unbeaten teams in the competition clash for top of the table showdown this Saturday.
The Crusaders are now two points clear of the Blues after beating the Highlanders 40-20 in Dunedin last Saturday.
“We’re going to play a really good Blues side who have a lot of confidence and so they should because they’re playing bloody good footy,” Crusaders captain Codie Taylor said.
In front of another bumper crowd of 19,875 at Forsyth Barr Stadium, the Crusaders prevailed to cement their position as the team to beat. Had wing Jona Nareki not butchered a try in the second half with the score at 21-17, the game could have been different.
But the visitors always had the stronger set-piece and with pivot Richie Mo’unga a growing presence in the second half and Sevu Reece providing electricity off the bench, they were deserved winners after fighting back from a 1714 halftime deficit.
Flanker Tom Christie (twice), Reece and Will Jordan both scored in the second half – Reece’s finish was a beauty – as the weight of possession eventually wore down the Highlanders.
Reece’s try made it 26-20 to the Crusaders after 59 minutes, and they were simply too efficient to lose the game from there, with Christie and the electric Jordan adding late scores to blow out the scoreline.
The showdown at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch on Saturday kicks off at 7.05pm while the Hurricanes host the Highlanders
in Wellington at 3.35pm on
Crusaders 40: (Will Jordan (2), Tom Christie (2), Sevu Reece tries, Richie Mo’unga, 3 cons, 3 pens) bt
Highlanders 20: (Shannon Frizell, Ngatungane Punivai tries, Mitch Hunt 2 cons, 2 pens). HT: 14-17.
Sevu Reece scores against the Highlanders in Dunedin on July 4, 2020.