Super Rugby

Clinical Crusaders rout Rebels




The Crusaders cruised past the Rebels 10-55 at AAMI Park, Melbourne.

This was the Crusaders‘ record eighth consecutive victory in Australia and the seventh home loss in a row for the Rebels against New Zealand opposition.

It is also the Kiwis’ biggest victory in Australia, keeping them scoreless in the second half while scoring 45 unanswered points.

Andrew Makalio grabbed a brace in the bonus-point eight-try thrashing despite having Matt Todd and David Havili yellow carded in the first-half.

The Rebels kept pace with the eight-times champions until Makalio and Jack Goodhue’s tries broke their resistance after the interval.

Reece Hodge’s try and Jack Debreczeni’s boot clawed back the deficit to level the scores late in the half after Seta Tamanivalu’s early five-pointer.

That was as good as it would get for Dave Wessels’ side, who capitulated.

The defending champs increased the tempo and pulled away with tries by Pete Samu, Bryn Hall, Wyatt Crockett and Manasa Mataele.

Debreczeni kicked an early penalty to give the Rebels an early lead.

The Rebels started well, holding onto the ball and going through the phases but as is always the norm, the Crusaders scored with one of their first real chances.

The home side gave away two soft penalties, giving the away team great field position.

Mich Drummond’s quick thinking set up Seta Tamanivalu’s score in the corner.

Tamanivalu took Richie Mo’unga’s long skip-pass and beat the cover defenders for the five-pointer.

Amanaki Mafi went close, but more good defending by the Kiwis kept the Rebels out.

Reece Hodge was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on and four minutes’ later, Makalio was in for his first.

Samu broke two tackles. He got up after not being held and charged towards the goal-line.

Quick ball from the ruck was sent to the hooker, who barged over Marika Koroibete to score.

The Rebels fought their way into Crusaders territory but were kept at bay.

Mafi went close from the back of the scrum. Billy Meakes was next to be stopped.

It was great defending by Ryan Crotty, George Bridge and Samu.

The Rebels should have been level.

They have botched two driving mauls and an attacking five-metre scrum on the Crusaders try-line.

The Melbourne team finally got their reward.

Hodge kicked the ball forward after Mitchell Drummond fumbled the ball.

The centre picked up the rolling ball and scored near the left-hand upright.

Havili was then sent to the bin for cynical play at the ruck after a terrible restart by the Rebels.

Scott Barrett thought he had scored only for the TMO to chalk off his try.

Mo’unga kicked the first penalty attempt by the Crusaders in four games and the ‘Saders’ went into the break with a slender advantage.

Second-half meltdown by the Rebels.

The Crusaders came out firing after the break. Crotty’s cross-kick was sublime.

Jack Maddocks lost the aerial duel with Tamanivalu.

The wing snapped the ball out of the air and played Makalio on his inside for the forward’s second.

Goodhue went over from close range with a well-timed angled run.

Drummond had four options to his right and picked the right one, picking out the centre.

The Rebels were done.

Tamanivalu bounced Michael Ruru and Maddocks, drew Koroibete before offloading to Samu for the score.

It was becoming a rout as the rattled Rebels wilted.

Hall scored after the restart, dotting down under the posts after Sam Whitelock’s break.

Whitelock played Todd on his inside and the flanker put the halfback away; 10-39 with Hunt’s conversion to come.

Crockett crashed over in the 78th-minute after some wonderful offloading between backs and forwards.

There was still time to bring up the half-century when Maddocks’ loose pass was gathered by Mataele.

The winger raced 60 metres; a final humiliation for the vanquished and hapless Aussies.

Final score: Rebels 10 (10) Crusaders 55 (13)


Tries – Hodge
Pen – Debreczeni
Con – Debreczeni
Drop –
Cards – Hodge (Yellow, 15′)

Tries – Tamanivalu, Makalio (2), Goodhue, Samu, Hall, Crockett, Mataele
Pen – Mo’unga
Con – Mo’unga (2), Hunt (4)
Drop –
Cards – Todd (Yellow, 23′), Havili (Yellow, 34′)

Match Officials
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 1: Will Houston
Assistant Ref 2: James Leckie
TMO: Ian Smith



15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Will Genia, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Fereti Sa’aga.

Replacements: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Tom English, 23 Semisi Tupou


15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Wyatt Crockett.

Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Harry Allan, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Mitchell Dunshea, 20 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele.

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