top of page

Crusaders rout Rebels; Chiefs top Waratahs

Updated: Apr 27

The Crusaders have moved from 12th and last on the points ladder to ninth and looking much more assured as they demolished the Melbourne Rebels 39-nil.

The fourth-ranked Rebels had won their previous three games, but were given a harsh reminder of the difficulties of winning games in New Zealand.

Their scrum was completely decimated in the first half, to the point that coach Kevin Foote replaced the entire front row before the break.


Matt Gibbon, Alex Mafi and Sam Talakai were hooked on the half-hour after a shift that saw them concede three penalties and lose multiple scrums against their own feed, including one where the Crusaders drove them back into their own in-goal.

The bench group - including Wallabies talents Taniela Tupou and Jordan Uelese - solidified things in the short term, but were eventually worn down by the hosts' power.

Talakai conceded it had been an embarrassing night.

Crusaders No.8 Christian Lio-Wllie and flanker Cullen Grace put their side 10-0 clear within 17 minutes, but the floodgates really opened late with three second-half tries against a broken Rebels outfit.

Things could have been different if Rebels forward Josh Kemeny had grounded a short-range effort on the stroke of halftime, but he lost control of the ball diving for the line in what was a chance to pull them to within a single score while trailing 10-0.

Instead the Crusaders resumed their dominance after the break, Lio-Willie powering over for a second, before Rivez Reihana knocked over a penalty to put them 18-0 clear on 50 minutes.

Evergreen prop Owen Franks scored his first Super Rugby try since 2010 while Sevu Reece and Johnny McNicholl crossed late.

Next week, the Crusaders (2-0-6, 12 points) host the Queensland Reds (4-0-4, 22 points) in Christchurch next Saturday (kick-off 4.35pm), while the Rebels are at home to the Blues (7-0-1, 32 points) on Friday (kick-off 9.35pm NZ Time).

Meanwhile the Chiefs beat the Waratahs 38-22 in Sydney after being down 0-12 early on, but then put on five consecutive tries to take control.

Cortez Ratima Chiefs Super Rugby Pacific
Cortez Ratima scored one of the Chiefs' six tries against the Waratahs. PHOTO: SUPER RUGBY

Discipline helped NSW take control early, they made too many errors in the second period as the Chiefs' Damian McKenzie found sizzling touch and helped his side take control via midfield domination.

The Waratahs have only won twice this season - both times against the Crusaders - but could have moved into the top eight with a victory on Friday night.

Three Chiefs tries in the 20 minutes after halftime effectively locked in the points.

First McKenzie put winger Emoni Narawa away, then halfback Cortez Ratima exploited sloppy defending soon after, before a bruising run from No.8 Wallace Sititi split the NSW line.

Lachie Swinton dragged a try back to give the Waratahs some late hope, before Chiefs counterpart Kaylum Boshier flashed serious pace to snuff that completely.

After initially being down the Chiefs struck back through fullback Shaun Stevenson - who injured his hamstring in scoring -  before a superb lofted ball from McKenzie put Narawa in.

Chiefs winger Etene Nanai-Seturo also served 10 minutes off the field for a high shot on Mark Nawaqanitawase, although questions were asked of referee Way's non-call on a brutal late hit Samipeni Finau put on Tane Edmed.

In Round 11, the Chiefs (6-0-3, 28 points) host the Western Force (2-0-6, nine points) at Hamilton's FMG Stadium Waikato next Saturday (kick-off 7.05pm), while the Waratahs travel to Wellington to face the undefeated Hurricanes (8-0-0, 37 points) on Friday (kick-off 7.05pm).

Crusaders 39 (Christian Lio-Willie 2, Cullen Grace, Owen Franks, Sevu Reece, Johnny McNicholl tries; Rivez Reihana 3 con, pen) Melbourne Rebels 0. HT: 10-0

Chiefs 38 (Shaun Stevenson, Emoni Narawa 2, Cortez Ratima, Wallace Sititi, Lachlan Boshier tries; Damian McKenzie 4 con) NSW Waratahs 22 (Julian Heaven, Jake Gordon, Lachlan Swinton tries; Tane Edmed con, pen, Will Harrison con). HT: 12-12


bottom of page