Planet Rugby

Crusaders show Blues no mercy

19th May 2012 08:26

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Robbie Fruean crusaders v blues

Crusaders: Run riot against Blues

The Crusaders bounced back from last weekend's shock loss to the Rebels with an emphatic 59-12 win over the Blues.

The hosts ran in a whopping nine tries to produce a record win over their Kiwi rivals, who could only manage two touchdowns through replacement Lachie Munro.

The Crusaders had almost 80 per cent of possession through the first 50 minutes of the match and used it to clinical effect, mounting attack after attack and scoring tries at almost consistent intervals.

Hooker Cory Flynn scored a double, with Matt Todd, Richie McCaw, Adam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Andy Ellis, Zac Guildford and Tom Marshall all touching down.

All Blacks star Dan Carter, back at fly-half for the Crusaders, kicked six conversions from seven, with his replacement Tyler Bleyndaal also adding a two-pointer.

The victory moves the seven-time Super Rugby champs to fifth-place overall and second in the New Zealand conference on 42 points, but more importantly keeps them firmly in the hunt for a play-offs spot.

The writing was on the wall for the visitors who conceded their first try to the men in red and black after just five minutes when flank Matt Todd showed good strength to power over from close range.

Wing Adam Whitelock was next to score after taking a final pass from Israel Dagg when the Crusaders decided to spread the ball wide. After waves of relentless attack, captain Richie McCaw added his name to the scoresheet barely a minute later for the Crusaders' third.

The end of the half couldn't come quickly enough for the Blues, but the Crusaders were brutally efficient right until the whistle, lock Luke Romano and hooker Corey Flynn crossing in the last four minutes to give the Crusaders a 31-0 lead at the break.

Scrum-half Andy Ellis restored the momentum with a try only three minutes after half-time and Flynn bagged his brace in the 51st minute.

Munro broke the sequence as the Blues began to win a small share of possession but the Crusaders picked it up again with tries by Guildford and Marshall in the 66th and 76th minutes respectively.

The Blues had the final say, and some small consolation, with Munro's second try just after the full-time siren.

The scorers:

For Crusaders:
Tries: Todd, A Whitelock, McCaw, Romano, Flynn 2, Ellis, Guildford, Marshall
Cons: Carter 6, Bleyendaal

For Blues:
Tries: Munro 2
Con: Anscombe

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Adam Whitelock, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Richie McCaw (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Tom Donnelly, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tyler Bleyendaal, 22 Tom Marshall.

Blues: 15 Hadleigh Parkes, 14 David Raikuna, 13 Ma'a Nonu, 12 Michael Hobbs, 11 Benson Stanley, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Luke Braid (c), 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Tevita Mailau, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Filo Paulo, 19 Peter Saili, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Lachie Munro, 22 Sherwin Stowers.

Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)

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