Saders smash abysmal Blues

SIMON BORCHARDT watched the Crusaders score nine tries in their 59-12 thrashing of the Blues in Christchurch.

The Saders put last week’s shock defeat to the Rebels behind them with a clinical performance against the second-worst team in the tournament. They dominated the scrums and lineouts, and created pressure by stringing the phases together and forcing their opponents to make tackle after tackle.

The Crusaders shot out to a 12-0 lead after as many minutes thanks to tries to flanker Matt Todd, who scored from a driving maul, and right winger Adam Whitelock, who took advantage of an overlap that came after another good passage of play from the forwards.

A foot in touch from Sam Whitelock cost the second rower a try in the corner at the end of the first quarter, but the Crusaders stole the lineout ball and captain Richie McCaw was driven over.

The Crusaders scored another two tries just before half-time, through lock Luke Romano and hooker Corey Flynn, to make it 31-0.

That became 45-0 after 10 minutes of the second half, with scrumhalf Andy Ellis being put away from a scrum and Flynn grabbing his double.

The Crusaders then made several substitutions, which disrupted their momentum, and Blues replacement Lachie Munro was able to score two tries, the second coming after the full-time hooter.

But the hosts were able to add another two of their own, with winger Zac Guildford and replacement fullback Tom Marshall completing the rout.