Scott Barrett return fires Crusaders to bonus point win over Melbourne Rebels

Dylan Coetzee
Scott Barrett in action for the Crusaders in Super Rugby Pacific.

Scott Barrett in action for the Crusaders in Super Rugby Pacific.

Returning captain Scott Barrett was central to the Crusaders claiming a promising 39-0 win over the Melbourne Rebels in Christchurch on Friday.

It was a welcome return to form for the hosts who ran in six tries on the night through a Christian Lio-Willie brace as well as five-pointers from Cullen Grace, Owen Franks, Sevu Reece and Johnny McNicholl, while fly-half Rivez Reihana kicked three conversions and a penalty.

It was certainly not a result the Rebels would have been looking for and they were subsequently kept scoreless on a night where their pack was truly dominated.

Click here to see teams and scorers

From the outset, the Crusaders forwards were winning the collisions and dominating their opponents and it did not take long to get a reward through Lio-Willie’s first try in the ninth minute that went unconverted.

The Christchurch men continued to push which saw Grace dive on a well-placed cross kick from wing Heremaia Murray after 17 minutes. Reihana was once again off the mark in an erratic goal-kicking performance.

There would be no change to the scoreboard for the rest of the half with the defending champions taking a strong lead into the sheds.

Reihana would break the deadlock in the second period after nine minutes, slotting his first kick of the game by virtue of a penalty for his side. The Crusaders would have to wait until just after the hour mark when Franks crossed for a rare try which was converted by Reihana.

Ten minutes later, the hosts’ leading try-scorer of all-time Reece added another to his collection before McNicholl was rewarded with a fine with a try in the last minute.

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The teams

Crusaders: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Levi Aumua, 12 Dallas McLeod, 11 Heremaia Murray, 10 Rivez Reihana, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Christian Lio-Willie, 7 Ethan Blackadder, 6 Cullen Grace, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Scott Barrett (c), 3 Fletcher Newell, 2 Brodie McAlister, 1 George Bower
Replacements: 16 George Bell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Owen Franks, 19 Jamie Hannah, Corey Kellow, Noah Hotham, David Havili, Chay Fihaki

Rebels: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Lachie Anderson, 13 Filipo Daugunu, 12 David Feliuai, 11 Darby Lancaster, 10 Carter Gordon, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Vaiolini Ekuasi, 7 Maciu Nabolakasi, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Josh Canham, 4 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 3 Sam Talakai (c), 2 Alex Mafi, 1 Matt Gibbon
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Isaac Kailea, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Angelo Smith, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Matt Proctor, 23 Nick Jooste

Referee: Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Nick Hogan (New Zealand), Anthony Petrie (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)

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