20 Mar 2016

Rampant Crusaders kill Kings

2:00 pm on 20 March 2016

The Crusaders were back to their rampaging best in an eight-try blitz of the Kings, winning their Super Rugby match at Christchurch 57-24.

Nemani Nadolo

Nemani Nadolo Photo: PHOTOSPORT

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The visitors poked the bear by running in the first try of the match after their winger, Luzuko Vulindlu, snaffled an intercept in the 11th minute.

The Crusaders' Fijian international, Nemani Nadola, quickly struck back, finishing a well-worked try that featured half a dozen offloads.

Three minutes later, the home side's other winger, Johnny McNichol, also crossed the line when the ball was knocked on straight into his arms.

Ben Funnell then scored a classic hookers' try in the right corner for the Crusaders, finishing a width-of-the-field counter-attack.

Nadolo was awarded the final try of the first-half in controversial fashion after he appeared to ground the ball short of the line from a pick and go.

The video referee couldn't find a reason not to award the try even though replays didn't show the ball being forced in goal.

Jone Macilai-Tori

Jone Macilai-Tori Photo: PHOTOSPORT

With a 29-10 lead at half-time, the Crusaders were quickly back into their work after the break when fly-half Richie Mo'unga finished a slick sequence of passes by the Crusaders' backs.

Two minutes later, scrum-half Mitchell Drummond completed a counter attack sparked by his captain Sam Whitelock, before out of nowhere the Kings' Edgar Marutlulle found his way to the try line.

The replacement hooker showed great strength to break a tackle and stretch over the line in a second.

The Crusaders went quiet for 10 minutes before launching another counter-attack. this time from from their own 22.

Replacement back Jone Macilai-Tori displayed pace and anticipation to finish some clever interchange under the posts.

With 50 points racked up against them, the Kings didn't retreat into their shells and found the line again through halfback Chris Cloete.

In the final five minutes, their defence impressively withstood a barrage on their line, before Pete Samu sealed the victory for the Crusaders by waltzing under the bar.

Elsewhere, the Melbourne Rebels beat Japan's Sunwolves 35-9 in Tokyo.