Cru­saders: Blues ‘bloody good’

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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

Sun­day.

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.

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