Crusaders return to winning ways to deliver Chiefs an eighth straight defeat

The Crusaders have re-discovered their winning touch, outclassing the Chiefs 32-19 in Hamilton.

George Bridge runs at Anton Lienert-Brown Source: Photosport

Coming into the match on the back of a club-record seven straight defeats, the Chiefs were out to salvage some pride, but despite a valiant effort, they couldn't break their winless run in Super Rugby Aotearoa. Tonight's defeat their eighth in a row across Super Rugby Aotearoa, and the pre-Covid regular Super Rugby season.

Their opponents meanwhile were out to return to winning ways after suffering their first defeat of the new competition at home to the Hurricanes last week.

It was the visitors who got the ball rolling, as No.8 Tom Sanders steamed down the wing to score in the corner, barging over the top of Damian McKenzie in the process.

Fullback Will Jordan scored six minutes later, slipping in to score after some quick hands from winger George Bridge.

However, the Chiefs would come back into the contest in the first spell, Lachlan Boshier scoring his side's first of the evening, while the boot of Damian McKenzie saw the Crusaders' lead cut to just two points at 12-10.

Chiefs winger Shaun Stevenson was sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock on, with the Crusaders needing no second invitation to make the most of their numerical advantage.

A try to captain Codie Taylor before halftime gave the Crusaders the momentum and a 17-10 lead going into the break.

After halftime the two sides traded penalties - three to McKenize and one to Richie Mo'unga - before the Crusaders took complete control.

Winger Sevu Reece catching the Chiefs napping, scoring controversially after the ball had bounced, and questions asked over a potential knock on. However the TMO ruled in favour of the Crusaders.

Replacement Leicester Faingaanuku sealed the bonus point by getting himself on the scoresheet after some brilliance from Mo'unga. The try effectively sealing the victory.

The victory means the table-topping Crusaders move seven points clear of the second placed Blues and on course to claim the title.

The Chiefs meanwhile remain cemented to the bottom of the ladder, five points behind the Highlanders having played two games more.