Wounded Crusaders Crush Blues As Waratahs Suffer More Misery

Wounded Crusaders crush Blues as Waratahs suffer more misery

The Canterbury Crusaders returned to winning ways with a clinical victory over the Auckland Blues on Friday, but there was more misery for the NSW Waratahs who crashed to a third successive defeat

Wellington, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Feb, 2020 ) :The Canterbury Crusaders returned to winning ways with a clinical victory over the Auckland Blues on Friday, but there was more misery for the NSW Waratahs who crashed to a third successive defeat.

Super Rugby's defending champions, coming off a shock loss to Waikato Chiefs last week, scored three tries to one in a dominant 25-8 display at Eden Park, extending their winning streak over the hosts to 11 matches.

In a wet Melbourne, the Rebels posted their first win of the season, outlasting the Waratahs 24-10 to heap extra pressure on new coach Rob Penney and his struggling team, who have leaked 99 points in three matches.

The Blues last won against the 10-time champion Crusaders in early 2014 but coach Leon MacDonald -- desperate for success against the club he represented for 12 years -- was talking up their chances before the match.

It counted for nothing as knock-ons and mistakes in the set-piece meant the Blues failed to convert their superior possession into points.

"We had a bit of hurt that was bottled up inside us and knew we had to start well and play for the full 80," Canterbury captain Scott Barrett said.

Patrick Tuipulotu helped the Blues make a strong start, spinning out of a tackle to score the opening try when Stephen Perofeta's chip kick opened up the defence.

The Crusaders hit back when wing George Bridge gathered a Jack Goodhue offload and crossed in the 27th minute.

They were unlucky not to get another when Sevu Reece broke through a few minutes later, with only a last-gasp tackle from Perofeta restricting the Crusaders' lead to 11-5 at half-time.

Tries to Richie Mo'unga and Goodhue after the break saw the Crusaders race to a 25-8 lead, with a Will Jordan effort ruled offside.

The Blues tried to rally but the Crusaders' relentless defence held them out.

"We just couldn't capitalise on anything and they just managed to do what they do," frustrated Blues skipper Tuipulotu said after his side fumbled six lineouts.

- Not pretty - In Melbourne, the Waratahs' dire season continued and they remain anchored to the bottom of the Australian conference.

They lost a lot of experience after last season and are still trying to find their feet under Penney.

Despite winning 15 of their previous 17 Super Rugby clashes with the Rebels, including the past six, they were no match at AAMI Park.

"A full 80 minute performance. It wasn't pretty but really happy with the way the boys grinded, really physical," said Rebels skipper Dane Haylett-Petty. "We had to be patient, we outlasted them I thought." Matt Toomua gave them an early lead with a penalty after Waratahs debutant Angus Bell collapsed a scrum before Will Harrison evened it up.

But it was the Rebels making territory and winger Marika Koroibete crashed over for the first try of the night on 14 minutes as rain lashed down.

In a worrying sign for the Rebels Wallabies stalwart Reece Hodge went off injured clutching his right thigh, but unfazed they kept pressing and Ryan Louwrens had a try disallowed when his boot touched the sideline.

Another try was ruled out for obstruction just before half-time as they went to the break leading 8-3.

The Waratahs returned fired up and powered over for a try six minutes after the restart with Harry Johnson-Holmes dotting down and Harrison adding the conversion.

But two more Toomua penalties gave the Rebels the edge and when Andrew Kellaway dived over after an intense 17-phase build up with six minutes left there was no way back.

"We can't hold onto the ball so how are we supposed to win those pressure situations," said dejected Waratahs captain Rob Simmons. "It's something that needs to be addressed."

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