Mitchell Hunt and Ethan Blackadder might have just given us a glimpse into the Crusaders' future.

The young duo have impressed in their limited contributions in Super Rugby this season, and given the opportunity to start against the French Barbarians, they continued that upward trend.

Hunt showed his potential as a future first-choice fullback in the 42-26 win, with the 22-year-old accounting for 22 of the Crusaders' points. Taking up a reserve role which has seen him cover both first five-eighth and fullback throughout the season, Hunt showed plenty of skill in his two-try performance.

Mitchell Hunt scored two tries for the Crusaders against the French Barbarians. Photo / Photosport
Mitchell Hunt scored two tries for the Crusaders against the French Barbarians. Photo / Photosport

Blackadder, 23, has only had three matches at Super Rugby level this year but his aggressive and powerful style of play opened plenty of eyes, and he displayed that again in the No.8 jersey against the French side.

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It took the Crusaders fewer than two minutes to open the scoring, after No.10 Mike Delany fended away from a defender before slinging the ball back inside to halfback Mitchell Drummond to score his first of the night.

With debutant midfielder Rameka Poihipi and Hunt scoring soon after, by the 21st minute the Crusaders were keeping up with the clock.

But with six players in the 23-man squad on debut for the Crusaders, and a new-look tight five, there was always a possibility the visitors would try to attack their hosts up front. When they got the chance to do so inside the Crusaders' 10, the certainly didn't waste it.

Damian Penaud was the unlikely benefactor of a strong lineout drive from the visitors, with the Barbarians midfielder scoring back to back tries on the back of the rolling maul.

Hunt bagged his second just before the half to push the gap out to 14, but the visitors closed it immediately after the break when hooker Julian Marchand went over – again from a lineout drive.

Mitchell Drummond carries the ball into contact against the French Barbarians. Photo / Photosport
Mitchell Drummond carries the ball into contact against the French Barbarians. Photo / Photosport

From there, the hosts put their foot firmly on the gas and didn't look back.

After the French Barbarians closed the deficit to just nine points, the Crusaders scored two quick tries to put the game out of reach of their visitors, running out to a 42-26 win.

"It was a pretty fun night for us," Drummond said after the match. "We had some pretty fresh faces in there and it was a good chance for some boys and it was a pretty great opportunity to come out here and play against an international team."

It was a brave performance from the French Barbarians, who have had just one week to work together ahead of the match, but the scoreline was a deserved one with the Crusaders dominating both the territory and possession.

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Crusaders 42 (Mitchell Hunt 2, Mitchell Drummond 2, Rameka Poihipi, Israel Dagg tries; Hunt 6 cons)

French Barbarians 26 (Damian Penaud 2, Julian Marchand, Judicael Cancoriet tries; Jean-Marc Doussain 3 cons)

HT: 28-18