27 Apr 2015

Crusaders back in winning form

12:22 pm on 27 April 2015

The Crusaders snapped a two-match losing streak to beat the Blues 29-15 in Christchurch and give some hope to their faltering Super Rugby campaign.

Codie Taylor of the Crusaders celebrates his try with team-mate David Havili.

Codie Taylor of the Crusaders celebrates his try with team-mate David Havili. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Crusaders chalked up their fifth win in 10 matches this season and earned a vital bonus point for scoring four tries to move into ninth place just one point outside the top six playoff spots despite playing the last quarter of the match without flanker Richie McCaw.

The All Blacks captain was taken from the field for a concussion test after a heavy head knock while tackling the Blues fullback Lolagi Visinia.

The 33-year-old McCaw has struggled to produce his best this season, triggering concerns in rugby-mad New Zealand about his place in the World Cup team.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has dismissed suggestions McCaw is losing his edge but his every move is being scrutinised with the World Cup kicking off in less than five months.

The Crusaders were already safely ahead of the Blues when McCaw left the field in Christchurch.

The seven-times Super champions raced to a 14-0 lead after halfback Mitchell Drummond scored in the first minute then loose forward Jordan Taufua went over in the 16th.

The Blues, second-last in the standings with just one victory all season, cut the deficit to 17-10 at halftime when Francis Saili scored.

However, the Crusaders regained control in the second half when Tom Taylor scored two minutes after the restart and Codie Taylor secured the home team's bonus point with a fourth try.

"We definitely had to show a better performance out there," the Crusaders skipper Kieran Read said.

"It wasn't perfect but it was certainly a step up from the last two weeks."

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