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Crusaders relentless in 62-24 win in Pretoria

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Lynn McConnell     07 May 2017     Getty Images

Scoring 10 tries to three, dominating the loose ball, making full use of a poorly defended area behind the Bulls backline and hammering the home scrum, the Crusaders continued their unbeaten march through 11 rounds of the competition. It was the Bulls' first loss at home this season.
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The Crusaders' effort was spread across the 23 players in the match day squad but centre Jack Goodhue thrived under the circumstances while first five-eighths Richie Mo'unga orchestrated a dominant display all round while skipper Matt Todd led the side superbly in the absence of Sam Whitelock and Kieran Read.

Flanker Pete Samu made an immediate impact on the Crusaders' first visit into Bulls territory courtesy of a penalty kick for a lineout. He burst through a gap in the line, went to ground, replayed the ball and found the way open to run in beside the posts.

A turnover from a Bulls error deep in their own 22m area saw Mo'unga decide to break and he was through in a flash to make ground, kick ahead, regain the ball and get caught in a tackle. The Bulls infringed at the breakdown, halfback Mitch Drummond tapped the ball and passed to No.8 Jordan Taufua. Goodhue stepped a defender and passed out to second five-eighths Tim Bateman who scored.

Good defence, and work over the ball by Todd and wing Seta Tamanivalu took the sting out of Bulls attacks and when getting back downfield penalties conceded took the Crusaders to the line and from a 25th minute pick and go it was lock Scott Barrett who scored.



A step through the defence by Goodhue brought its reward when the support arrived at the breakdown and when Mo'unga slipped a kick through on the blindside it was Goodhue who followed through to secure the bounce and drive over in the tackle for the 30th minute try.

Drummond was denied a 37th minute try when a transfer between Tamanivalu and Goodhue was ruled forward. But the Bulls were penalised at the scrum and the Crusaders opted to kick for the lineout. They built through several rucks before Tamanivalu was able to take the ball from the base and go over to give them a 31-3 lead at half-time.

If the Bulls were looking to tighten things up in the second half a poorly judged kick from a defensive position by Schoeman was disastrous. It was taken by fullback David Havili, who beat a chaser and then ran straight through a huge hole to score the simplest of tries.

In the 48th minute more good work by Todd at the breakdown resulted in him combining with Samu to allow Mo'unga to chip ahead, race after the ball to get the bounce and have an unbroken 25m run to the line.

It became a procession as another kick ahead into open territory saw Goodhue regain the ball for his second try two minutes later.

The Bulls showed they had learnt from the Crusaders lessons when replacement five-eighths Francois Brummer put a kick ahead, won the bounce, passed to Renaldo Botman, who gave Jesse Kriel a clear run in.

It was only a temporary halt as Goodhue made another gap and when challenged he had replacement hooker Andrew Makalio in support to take the score out to 55-10.

Replacement five-eighths Mitchell Hunt had the chance to atone for putting the restart kick out on the full after wing Jamba Ulengo scored the Bulls second try. The Bulls attempted to run the ball from the scrum but it was dropped and Hunt swooped on it to race 40m for the try.

Scorers: Bulls 24 (Jesse Kriel, Jamba Ulengo, Jan Serfontein tries; Francois Brummer 3 con; Tian Schoeman pen ) Crusaders 62 (Pete Samu, Tim Bateman, Scott Barrett, Jack Goodhue 2, Seta Tamanivalu, David Havili, Richie Mo'unga, Andrew Makalio, Mitchell Hunt tries; Richie Mo'unga 4 con; Hunt 2 con). HT: 31-3