The Crusaders held on to the top spot in Super Rugby and their unbeaten status by beating the Bulls 24-62 with a bonus point at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
The Crusaders victory is their first at Loftus Versfeld since 2008 and the result ends a five match losing streak in Pretoria for the Christchurch side who are the only team this season who have yet to lose a match.
The Crusaders outscored the Bulls by five tries to none in the first half and went on to score another five tries for a total of ten compared to the Bulls three in the whole match.
The Crusaders were without two of the world’s best players in Sam Whitelock (suspension)and Kieran Read (broken thumb) for the match but the loss made no difference to the visiting team’s performance.
Centre jack Goodhue scored two tries for the Crusaders who hit the 50 point mark on the scoredboard in the 53rd minute.
Thereafter the Crusaders took their foot of the gas and errors started to creap in which allowed the Bulls to score a couple of consolation tries.
The Crusaders score was the most points the Bulls have ever conceded at their fortress Loftus which has hosted 130 Super rugby matches.
The Crusaders 62 points is also their highest points tally ever on tour.
The victory was built on the work done by the Crusaders dominant forward display and a mix of clever territorial kicks into space behind the Bulls and slick offloads.
The Crusaders opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Read’s replacement Pete Samu powered his way over the line. Tries followed by Tim Bateman, Scott Barrett, Goodhue, David Havili. Andrew Makalio, Mitch Hunt and Seta Tamanivalu.
Fullback Havili came close to scoring what could have been a hat-trick but he was twice denied by the TMO for forward passes.
The Bulls tries were scored by Jesse Kriel, Jamba Ulengo and Jan Serfontein but the hosts were pretty awful in defence and were completely outplayed. They were their own worst enemies though as they missed 35 tackles in the match.
Next week the Bulls host the Highlanders in Pretoria and the Crusaders return to New Zealand where they will face a much sterner test as they host current Super rugby champions the Hurricanes in Christchurch.
Final Score Bulls 24 (3) Crusaders 62 (31)
Tries – J.Kriel, J.Ulengo, J.Serfontein
Pen – T.Schoeman
Con – F.Brummer 3
Tries – P.Samu, T.Bateman, S.Barrett, J.Goodhue 2, S.Tamanivalu, D.Havili, R.Mo’unga, A.Makalio, M.Hunt
Con – R.Mo’unga 5, M.Hunt
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1:Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 2:AJ Jacobs
TMO : Johan Greeff
Warrick Gelant , Travis Ismaiel , Jamba Ulengo,Jesse Kriel, Burger Odendaal ,Tian Schoeman ,Piet van Zyl, Hanro Liebenberg ,Jacques Potgieter , Nick de Jager , Lood de Jager , Jason Jenkins ,Trevor Nyakane , Adriaan Strauss (c), Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: Jaco Visagie, Lizo Gqoboka ,Jacobie Adriaanse , RG Snyman, Jannes Kirsten, Rudy Paige,Francois Brummer,Jan Serfontein.
1.Wyatt Crockett,2.Codie Taylor ,3.Owen Franks,4 Luke Romano ,5.Scott Barrett ,6.Pete Samu,7. Matt Todd (C),8. Jordan Taufua,9. Mitchell Drummond ,10.Richie Mo’unga,11. George Bridge ,12. Tim Bateman ,13. Jack Goodhue,14. Seta Tamanivalu,15. David Havili
Replacements : 16. Andrew Makalio,17. Joe Moody,18. Michael Alaalatoa,19. Quinten Strange ,20. Heiden Bedwell-Curtis,21. Bryn Hall,22. Mitchell Hunt ,23. Ryan Crotty