Super Rugby

Crusaders rout winless Waratahs




The Crusaders routed the NSW Waratahs 28-54 in a Round Three Super Rugby Trans-Tasman mismatch at WIN Stadium, Wollongong.

The Crusaders romped to another comfortable eight-try bonus-point Super Rugby victory after routing the winless Waratahs on a cool and blustery day in New South Wales.

The defending two-time defending Super Rugby Aotearoa champions ringed the changes for the game, played relatively poorly by their high standards, and yet still scored 54 points.

A damning assessment of the state of the two teams is that the winning margin could – and should – have been bigger.

The Crusaders, despite not playing well, and making lots of uncharacteristic unforced errors, scored four first-half tries to lead 26-9 at the break.

Mitchell Drummond, Codie Taylor, Sevu Reece, and Dallas McLeod all crossed in the first stanza for the 12-time Super Rugby champions.

Will Harrison, starting at fullback but moving to standoff after Ben Donaldson left the field, kicked three penalties for the Waratahs.

Scott Robertson’s charges added a further four tries in the second half as the Super Rugby Aotearoa champions racked up a half-century.

Scott Barrett, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Bryn Hall, and Will Jordan all dotted down in the second stanza to increase the pain on a beleaguered NSW team.

Although Richie Mo’unga did not score, the first-five had a hand in several tries; he kicked seven of eight conversions for 14 points.

Jack Maddocks, Izaia Perese, and Alex Newsome managed rare scores for the Australians, who fought hard but did not have near enough quality to compete with the Christchurch juggernaut.

Will Harrison added 13 points from the tee.

But another chastening defeat continues to set unwanted records for the Sydney franchise, who have now lost 11 matches in a row across both Super Rugby competitions in 2021.

Crusaders win the game in the first 40 minutes

The Tahs looked to take any points on offer to stay with the Kiwis (and just to have something to show in a game they had no chance of winning).

Jack Whetton was sent to the sin-bin for cynical play in the 22nd-minute with the score at 3-7.

Whetton’s card did not prove costly as Harrison added another penalty, while the Saders only managed an unconverted try.

Drummond opened the scoring in the eighth minute after Reece combined with Jordan down the touchline.

Super Rugby Round 3 video Highlights: NSW Waratahs vs Crusaders, WIN Stadium, Wollongong

Mo’unga converted before Harrison put the Tahs on the board with two penalties on either side of Whetton’s yellow card.

Taylor finished off a sublime counter-attack, on the half-hour, that went 80 metres down the field before Reece crossed, six minutes later as the Waratahs ran out of numbers.

Harrison added a third penalty a minute before the interval, but McLeod danced past Jake Gordon before the siren to increase the visitor’s advantage.

Robertson’s men pile on the pain, but three tries for the Sydney men flatter the Tahs

Barrett scored soon after the restart as Robertson’s men increased the lead to 24 points.

But the Waratahs hit back with two quick-fire tries on either side of Oliver Jager’s 54th-minute yellow card.

The Tahs managed to find their way over the line twice in quick succession as they continued to play with abandon, and a nothing to lose attitude.

Maddocks scored from a well-timed angled run off the back of an attacking scrum.

Perese then scored a stunning try after slipping Reece’s tackle and running over Fainga’anuku.

Harrison converted both tries to bring the scores back to within 10 points at 23-33.

The joy was, however, short-lived. Fainga’anuku crashed over from close range before the hour mark.

Mo’unga’s fifth conversion brought up the forty-burger.

On 64 minutes, Hall wormed his way over the whitewash after breaking off a driving maul. Mo’unga added the extras.

Jordan brought up the fifty with five minutes to play. However, as the game broke up, the Saders lost two more players to the bin.

David Havili and Nathan Vella both received yellow cards for cynical infringements at the death.

This allowed Newsome to exploit the space, and score before the final hooter, but this was another humiliating result in Waratahs’ history.

The Crusaders march on: they look unstoppable.

Final Score: Waratahs 28 (9) Crusaders 54 (26)


Tries – Maddocks, Perese, Newsome
Pen – Harrison (3)
Con – Harrison (2)
Drop –
Cards – Whetton (Yellow, 22′)

Tries – Drummond, Taylor, Reece, McLeod, Barrett, Fainga’anuku, Hall, Jordan
Pen –
Con – Mo’unga (7)
Drop –
Cards – Jager (Yellow, 54′), Havili (Yellow, 77′), Vella (Yellow, 79′)

Match Officials
Referee: Graham Cooper
Assistant Ref 1: Matt Kellehan
Assistant Ref 2: James Quinn
TMO: James Leckie


15 Will Harrison, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Ben Donaldson, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Will Harris, 7 Jack Dempsey, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Jeremy Williams, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 David Porecki, 1 Angus Bell

Replacements: 16 Joe Cotton, 17 Chris Talakai, 18 Darcy Breen, 19 Sam Caird, 20 Carlo Tizzano, 21 Jack Grant, 22 Tepai Moeroa, 23 Mark Nawaqanitawase


15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 12 Dallas McLeod, 11 Manasa Mataele, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Sione Havili Talitui, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Scott Barrett (captain), 4 Mitchell Dunshea, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower

16 Nathan Vella, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Samuel Whitelock, 20 Liam Allen, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Fergus Burke, 23 David Havili

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