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    Crusaders hit party mode in romp over Highlanders

    2020-02-21 09:49

    Christchurch - Reigning champions, the Crusaders, celebrated 25 years in Super Rugby with a 33-13 demolition of New Zealand rivals, the Highlanders, in Christchurch on Friday.

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    As it happened | Crusaders v Highlanders

    The 10-time title winners chose this week to celebrate the southern hemisphere competition's silver jubilee, inviting more than 200 former players to a post-match function in their hometown.

    The current players turned on the style as their predecessors looked on, scoring five tries to two as they bossed the South Island derby.

    The Crusaders scored four first-half tries in front of an ecstatic home crowd, capitalising on some woeful Highlanders defence.

    The visitors' task was made more difficult when Shannon Frizzell was sin-binned early after the break for a tip-tackle on Braydon Ennor.

    The Highlanders lifted and were rewarded with a try to Jona Nareki, but Sione Havili put the result beyond doubt when he crossed the line with six minutes left on the clock.

    "It's very pleasing. We were just looking to put pressure on them and we achieved that," Crusaders No 8 Tom Sanders said.

    "We got a few over the line and got the result we needed."

    Highlanders centre Josh Ioane said it was difficult to recover from the  Crusaders' try-scoring burst in the opening 40 minutes.

    "It was tough, they came out hissing in that first half but we were better in the second half," he said.

    "But early on, if you give them an inch they'll punish you."

    Scorers:

    Crusaders

    Tries: Codie Taylor, Tom Christie, Braydon Ennor, George Bridge, Sione Havili

    Conversions: David Havili, Bryn Hall (2), Mitch Drummond

    Highlanders

    Tries: Michael Collins, Jona Nareki

    Penalty: Josh Ioane

    Teams:

    Crusaders

    15 David Havili (captain), 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Cullen Grace, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

    Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Isi Tu’ungafasi, 18 George Bower, 19 Ethan Roots, 20 Sione Havili, 21 Michell Drummond, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Leicester Fainga’anuku

    Highlanders

    15 Michael Collins, 14 Kirisi Kuridrani, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Josh Ioane, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 7 James Lentjes (captain), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Josh Dickson, 4 Jesse Parete, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone

    Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Conan O’Donnell, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Teihorangi Walden, 23 Josh McKay

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    Fixtures

    Friday, 03 April 2020
    • Crusaders v Blues, 08:05
    Saturday, 04 April 2020
    • Chiefs v Bulls, 05:45
    • Brumbies v Hurricanes, 10:15
    • Stormers v Waratahs, 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, 17:15
    • Jaguares v Rebels, 23:40
    Sunday, 05 April 2020
    • Sunwolves v Reds, 07:15

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