Crusaders 62 Bulls 24

The Crusaders march on.

They ran riot at Loftus, once an almost impregnable rugby fortress, scoring 10 tries to three in an extraordinarily one-sided contest.

Led by captain Matt Todd, who was ubiquitous and in the thick of the many turnovers won by the Crusaders, and centre Jack Goodhue, who scored a double and ran freely throughout, the visitors scored a neat 31 points in each half to cement their table-topping status and a 10-0 record as they head home. Man of the match went to first five Richie Mo'unga, who scored a fine solo try via a chip and regather, set up Tim Bateman with a classy break, and recorded 15 points in all.

The possession and territory stats were fairly similar for both sides and it was not simply a matter of the Crusaders piercing the Bulls' line at will, but they made capital out of judicious attacking kicks, either chips or grubbers. Both of Goodhue's tries came from grubbers, the first by Mo'unga and the second by his own boot. The ball sat up nicely, but the Crusaders were making all their own luck.


The Bulls have fallen far from the lofty heights of 2007-10, when they won three titles.

They were smashed in the scrums, and seemed clueless on attack and fractured on defence. Why they persisted in kicking good ball away to a strong counter-attacker such as fullback David Havili, who scored a try off one such skewed clearance, was mystifying in the extreme.

The Bulls did score three consolation second spell tries, but their Loftus citadel is no longer a fearsome venue for visiting New Zealand teams.

"The walls of the fortress came tumbling down," quipped TV commentator and former Springbok Joel Stransky.

Todd was ecstatic that the Crusaders had won at Loftus for the first time since 2008.

"It was good to get a win here, of all places. The boys were up for it and fed off that early momentum," said the opensider.

The Crusaders will host the Hurricanes next Saturday in a game most New Zealand fans will relish, while the Bulls will have to deal with the Highlanders in Pretoria.

Crusaders 62 (Josh Goodhue 2, Peter Samu, Tim Bateman, Scott Barrett, Seta Tamanivalu, David Havili, Richie Mo'unga, Andrew Makalio, Mitch Hunt tries; Mo'unga 5 con, Hunt con) Bulls 24 (Jesse Kriel, Jamba Ulengo, Jan Serfontein tries; Francois Brummer 3 con, Tian Schoeman pen) HT: 31-3