Crusaders 40
Brumbies 14

A day after the Chiefs made a statement by winning ugly against the Hurricanes, the Crusaders have made one of their own by winning in spectacular fashion against the Brumbies in Canberra.

Some of the skills on display from Todd Blackadder's men were outrageous; from Nemani Nadolo's offload for Israel Dagg's try, to David Havili's pick up at full pace with his left hand to send Codie Taylor over for his second try.

The Chiefs might be leading the competition, but this bonus point victory from the Crusaders puts them within a point and anything seems possible this season despite the absence of their former big guns Dan Carter and Richie McCaw.


It was that sort of afternoon for the Crusaders at GIO Stadium, the visitors playing an almost perfect first half against one of the better teams in the Australian conference.

Without the injured Ryan Crotty in the midfield, there was a suspicion the Crusaders could struggle, and, while they lost some composure after halftime, allowing the Brumbies to score their second try of the match, they were never in trouble and eased to a one-sided victory.

Nadolo and his wing partner Jone Macilai were too much for the Brumbies, who looked confused at times on attack and defence. Such errors can't be made against this Crusaders team, who have now won seven matches in a row and are playing with supreme confidence. This was also their sixth victory in a row against the men from Canberra.

The pack out-mauled the traditionally hard-driving Brumbies - who are badly missing their suspended flanker David Pocock - and their backline had too many threats for the home side.

First-five Richie Mo'unga continued his good form and his replacement Marty McKenzie, who scored a try with virtually his first touch, showed some of the form his brother Damian has been displaying at the Chiefs.

A final indication of where the Crusaders are at in terms of team spirit were the final three minutes. With the Brumbies chasing a third try - which would have made no difference to the Crusaders' bonus point - the home side were kept out by a dogged and technically excellent defence.

Skipper Kieran Read, in good form again, said afterwards: "Not too many things went wrong today. I'm really stoked for the lads, they stood up when they could have been thinking about next week's bye."

Crusaders 40 (C. Taylor 2, N. Nadolo, J. Macilai, I. Dagg, M. McKenzie tries; R. Mo'unga 4 cons, McKenzie con)

Brumbies 14 (R. Coleman, J. Tomane tries; C. Lealiifano 2 cons). Halftime: 26-7