Defending Super Rugby champions the Crusaders recovered strongly from back-to-back defeats by recording a 33-14 triumph over the Bulls on Friday.
On the back of losses to the Hurricanes and the Highlanders over the past two weeks, the holders were back in business with a bonus-point success at a rain-soaked AMI Stadium.
Scott Barrett went over from a driving maul to give the hosts the lead after a quarter of an hour and, although the Crusaders lost Tim Perry to a yellow card for a high shot, they further stretched their advantage as Codie Taylor crossed in similar fashion to Barrett.
Travis Ismaiel’s fine individual score halved the deficit for the Bulls but the Crusaders led 21-7 at the break thanks to Jack Goodhue, who ploughed his way through a couple of defenders from close range.
Goodhue scythed through a gap for his second after the interval and although Marco van Staden got the Bulls back to within two scores, George Bridge put the result beyond all doubt with seven minutes remaining.
That’s fulltime here at AMI with a 33-14 win over the @BlueBullsRugby. Thanks to our amazing fans for showing up in this weather! You guys were awesome #CRUvBUL #wewill #crusadeon @PhotosportNZ pic.twitter.com/V6TxFxSg2n
— BNZ Crusaders (@crusadersrugby) March 23, 2018
In Friday’s second match, the Rebels went one better than the Crusaders, running in six tries in their 46-14 hammering of the Sharks.
Will Genia and Ross Haylett-Petty were among those to cross the whitewash as the Rebels bounced back from their 51-27 defeat at the hands of the Waratahs last time out.
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