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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
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Sam Whitelock in barnstorming mood as Crusaders win 9-try shoot-out against Rebels
Meanwhile, Lima Sopoaga is back from injury with a bang.

WITH INJURY WORRIES over Dane Coles and Jerome Kaino, from a Lions perspective, there may have been a hope that the All Blacks might just be short of some dynamic ball-playing forwards this summer.

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But then big Sam Whitelock went to Melbourne this morning and played like Brodie Retallick.

The second row blasted through tackles, linked play as a second receiver and showed his passing ability over slightly longer distance with his 35th minute try assist to allow Jed Brown finish off the overlap in the right corner.

The captain’s exploits helped the Crusaders run out 41 – 19 winners over the Rebels, six tries to three.

In Dunedin, Lima Sopoaga graced his second match back after injury with a try after a sparkling late break that led to a 75-metre score to finish off the Waratahs.

SANZAAR / YouTube

The out-half started his own scoring move with a pass wide in his 22 before a Waisake Naholo’s powerful shunt and pass inside allowed Sopoaga ring up a 44 – 28 win.

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