Crusaders Demolish Hapless Reds

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The Crusaders made it four wins in a row and kept their finals hopes alive with a crushing 57-29 bonus-point win over the Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium.

Reds supporters laid witness to the most points ever scored at Suncorp in Super Rugby, unfortunately most of them against their side.

Visiting fly-half Colin Slade was the stand-out, sinking 11 goals from as many attempts and playing a significant hand in his side’s comfortable win.

Coming into the match in last place in the Australian conference, the Reds were playing for pride and started well with an early 3-0 lead.

The Crusaders hit back three minutes later through a barnstorming try to winger Nemani Nadolo. The Crusaders’ discipline then came under scrutiny and six long arm penalties in a short period resulted in half Andy Ellis being sent to the bin.

The Reds took full advantage, running in two tries in just three minutes.

Leading 17-16 the Reds were flying, however the Crusaders were swift in their retaliation with an energetic start to the second half, yielding two quick tries.

Prop Wyatt Crockett crashed over following a cheeky quick tap in the 43rd minute and then winger Johnny McNicholl scored a beautiful runaway try after a brilliant Israel Dagg kick.

Any chance the Reds had of restoring some pride was dashed as they failed to deal with a Crusaders high ball resulting in No.8 Sam Whitelock crashing over the line. It had the Crusaders up 40-17 and home fans leaving despite having 20 minutes to go.

The tries kept coming as the Crusaders eased to a comfortable win.

Sam Alexander

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Brumbies Beat Jake White’s Sharks

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The Brumbies got one up on their former coach and extended their lead at the top of the Australian conference with a convincing 16-9 win over Jake White’s Sharks in a fiery encounter at GIO stadium.

It was White’s first trip back to Canberra since walking out on the Brumbies mid-contract at the end of last season.

Man-of-the-match Sam Carter scored the only try of an ill-tempered clash 15 minutes from full-time to lead the Brumbies to a satisfying victory over the ladder-leading Sharks.

Christian Lealiifano’s trusty kicking boot was also key as he slotted three penalties and a conversion, while the usually reliable Francois Steyn managed just three penalty goals from six attempts for the visitors.

The Springbok also kicked the ball out on the full twice from re-starts and failed to find touch with a penalty kick.

Both sides suffered casualties in a bruising and niggly top-of-the-table clash in wet conditions, with winger Joe Tomane the worst off after suffering a cheekbone injury.

The two teams employed similar tactics but Brumbies scored a points victory in the physical battle and won the kicking duel as both looked to play field position.

Lealiifano nailed two first-half penalties to send the Brumbies into the shed ahead 6-3
He extended the margin to 9-6 after the break before Nic White sent Carter charging through a gap from close range for the only five-pointer of the contest.

Steyn slotted his third penalty goal in the 72nd minute but the visitors had to settle for a bonus point for finishing within seven points.

Despite the loss the Sharks remain on top of the Super Rugby ladder, two points clear of the Brumbies who sit third.

Sam Alexander

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