Crusaders keep on winning

The Crusaders claimed an eighth straight Super Rugby win on Friday as they saw off the Reds 38-5 with a bonus-point in Christchurch.

Six tries were put on the board by the home side with Jone Macilai grabbing the headlines with a hat-trick.

Scott Barrett, Jordan Taufua and Codie Taylor scored the Crusaders' other five-pointers in a comprehensive win.

In reply the Reds carded just one score through Campbell Magnay as they head to Wellington on the back of this disappointing result. The Crusaders are also on the road next week, travelling south to the Highlanders.

It all looked too easy for the Crusaders early on as they crossed twice inside eight minutes to make it 14-0.

The first try came following big carries from blindside flanker Taufua before the ball was moved left from a scrum wide right where Israel Dagg set up Macilai nicely.

Macilai was over again three minutes later, once more from first-phase possession as another scrum, this time on halfway, led to lovely hands from the backline and Dagg finding his wing who finished well. Richie Mo'unga kicked both with good strikes to silence his doubters.

There was to be no runaway lead from the Crusaders though in the first-half as in fact the Reds enjoyed 76 percent of the ball until the 25th minute.

Unfortunately they could not unlock the home defence with all that possession and would be made to pay before the turnaround.

Barrett was the Crusaders' next try-scorer as unlike the Reds, his team got the job done when in the red zone to get a bonus-point next to their name.

The Reds must have walked into their dressing room scratching their head as to how they had nothing to show for their efforts.

They could do little to stop the assault from the Crusaders soon after the break though as Macilai claimed his hat-trick on the left wing.

The Reds finally had something to smile about four minutes later when a chip over the top on halfway was collected by centre Magnay and he showed good pace to make the line near to the posts. But a shock charge-down of Jake McIntyre's conversion meant there were no extras.

At 26-5, Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder subsequently decided to ring the changes and that unsurprisingly caused a fragmented passage in the game, with number eight Kieran Read yellow carded before the hour mark after deliberately pulling down a Reds maul five metres out.

But the Crusaders knew that the job wasn't done as one more try from the Reds would deny them a bonus-point.

That concern was firmly laid to rest on 65 minutes when Taufua dummied on the right sideline, embarrassing Eto Nabuli and putting the seal on a comfortable win.

The scorers:

For Crusaders:
Tries: Macilai 3, Barrett, Taufua, Taylor
Cons: Mo'unga 3, McKenzie
Yellow Card: Read

For Reds:
Try: Magnay

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 David Havili, 11 Jone Macilai, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Mike Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor,1 Wyatt Crockett
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Owen Franks, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Tim Boys, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Ryan Crotty, 23 Marty McKenzie

Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Anthony Fainga’a, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Curtis Browning, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ben Matwijow, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 James Slipper (c)
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Michael Gunn, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Sam Greene, 23 Junior Laloifi

Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Referees: Jamie Nutbrown, Kane McBride
TMO: Chris Wratt