Andrew Makalio celebrates his try Photosport/John Davidson/INPHO
Super Rugby

O'Gara's Crusaders attack runs riot in nine-try Chiefs hammering

There is no stopping the Super Rugby champions as they extended their winning run to 19 matches.

THE UNSTOPPABLE CANTERBURY Crusaders plundered nine tries in a 57-28 pummeling of the Waikato Chiefs on Saturday while the NSW Waratahs piled more misery on the Queensland Reds in Super Rugby action.

On a triple-header day, Rieko Ioane bagged four five-pointers to give the Auckland Blues their first win of the season with a 28-20 victory over the Tokyo-based Sunwolves. The Tahs beat the Reds 28-17, with three tries apiece.

The Crusaders’ latest fullback find Will Jordan scored twice, as did All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor in his first outing of the year.

Wing Sevu Reece, unwanted by the Chiefs and dumped by Connacht, made the most of his Crusaders lifeline with a hand in several tries, including one of his own.

Canterbury’s overwhelming win saw the reigning champions extend their winning streak to 19 matches while the 2012 and 2013 champion Chiefs remain winless after four rounds.

Despite the lopsided scoreline, the Crusaders went off the boil in the closing minutes — a concern for Taylor.

“We slacked off last week against the Reds and so we played a good 65 minutes today which was awesome to see, but we’ve still got a lot to work on in that last 15,” he said.

Reece was instrumental in two quick tries, outsmarting Damian McKenzie both times to set up Braydon Ennor for the first and scoring himself for the second.

Jordan, 21, then stepped up with his pace and precise support lines to score twice while hulking hooker Andrew Makalio also scored to take the Crusaders 33-7 ahead.

A Chiefs try to back-rower Taleni Seu and one in the second half to left wing Etene Nanai-Seturo came from their superior scrum power — one area where they had an advantage.


But they suffered from excessive turnovers and poor defence as prop Michael Alaalatoa, Taylor (twice) and Bryn Hall scored to have the Crusaders up 57-14 before late Chiefs tries by Jack Debreczeni and Mitchell Brown.

At the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Wallaby-laden Waratahs edged fierce rivals the Reds, who have now lost three from three.

Coming off a bye week, the Tahs’ Bernard Foley kicked two early penalties before Ned Hanigan got the first try from a lineout setpiece soon after Queensland’s JP Smith was sin-binned for an infringement.

Reds skipper Samu Kerevi kept his team in the hunt, picking up a loose ball to catch the Waratahs napping as he powered over the line and Chris Feauai-Sautia got another try soon before half-time, to go into the break 16-12 behind.

But a long-range try by Curtis Rona, who ran almost from his own half, a minute after the restart extended the Waratahs lead.

Sefanaia Naivalu pulled one back to narrow the score to 21-17 with 14 minutes left before Tahs’ substitute Alex Newsome burst through soon after coming on to put the game beyond doubt.

“We haven’t really hit our straps yet in attack but we ran some really good plays tonight out of our own end,” said Waratahs captain Michael Hooper.

“I was pleased how we kept playing right to the end. That was a testament to our work rate.”

In Auckland, the Blues came from 6-0 down to lead the Sunwolves 15-13 at half-time with two tries from Ioane and a penalty and conversion from Harry Plummer.

Rikiya Matsuda scored all the Sunwolves points with a converted try and two penalties.

Ioane scored twice more in the second half with Otere Black adding a penalty, while Uwe Helu scored a second try for the Sunwolves.

“It’s been a tough few weeks,” Blues hooker James Parson said after they dedicated the win to former squad member Michael Tamoaieta, who died last week.

“The way our scrum performed tonight it was all for Mikey, he was with us tonight.”

– © AFP 2019 

Andy Dunne joins Murray Kinsella and Ryan Bailey to discuss Joe Schmidt’s undroppables and how France might attack Ireland’s predictability in The42 Rugby Weekly.

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