Crusaders thrash Hurricanes in Super Rugby pre-season hit out in Ashburton

It may be pre-season, but the Crusaders have shown their intent for a fourth straight Super Rugby title, overwhelming the Hurricanes 40-19 in Ashburton.

The Hurricanes led 12-0 early thanks to two quick tries in the opening quarter from Du'Plessis Kirifi and Vince Aso.

That just brought Scott Robertson's side to life, the three-time defending champions launched an attacking barrage to take control.

Tries from Braydon Ennor, Dallas McLeod, Tom Sanders and George Bower saw the Crusaders score 28 unanswered points to lead 28-12 lead into the break.

The only cause for concern came as Billy Harmon stayed down with a leg injury in the 23rd minute, butthe game resumed.

Fergus Burke resumed the scoring for the Crusaders after the break, before the Hurricanes grabbed two back.

Wes Goosen and Jackson Garden-Bachop both managing tries of their own.

Sia Havili would have the final say for the Crusaders, scoring after the siren to complete a comprehensive victory.

The win will have the Crusaders in good stead for their Super Rugby opener against the Waratahs in Christchurch on February 1 .

The Hurricanes meanwhile will have plenty to work on, as they prepare for a difficult opening encounter, away to the Stormers in Cape Town.