Looking at the scoreboard in Christchurch, the Brumbies will be wondering how their match against the Crusaders got so out of hand.

After dominating the opening 40 minutes, the Brumbies looked poised to push the Crusaders to the final whistle. Instead, the Crusaders ran away with a 36-14 win.

With all the possession and territory they could have asked for in the first half, the Brumbies could only put seven points on the board leading into the halftime break. It was far from enough, as the running game of the Crusaders backline shone through.

Without a win in New Zealand since beating the Hurricanes in 2014, the Brumbies arrived in Christchurch with many pundits expecting a blowout to the hosts. But a physical start coupled with the Crusaders' poor discipline set the platform for the Brumbies to lay down their challenge.


Thanks to eight first-half penalties, including a shoulder charge that saw Owen Franks shown a yellow card, the Brumbies dominated possession and territory in the first half. Their aggression was shown early as penalties well within kicking range were being passed up for a chance to get closer to the tryline.

It took 33 minutes, but the Brumbies were eventually rewarded for their dominance through first five-eighth Christian Lealiifano, whose converted try saw the Brumbies go into the break with a seven-point buffer.

As positive as the Brumbies might have been after the first half, winger Sevu Reece made sure that feeling didn't last long into the second half as he crossed the stripe four minutes after the restart. Giving up the lead they had worked so hard for, the Brumbies began to crack, and the Crusaders exploited the holes.

Reece and Richie Mo'unga had plenty of opportunities to dazzle with their running games as the hosts tired their visitors.

As the Crusaders did in the first half, the Brumbies found themselves a man down in the second when Toni Pulu collared Will Jordan on his way to the tryline.

With Jordan's eventual try, the floodgates opened.

Both he and Reece went on to bag a double, with Jordan Taufua crossing the stripe late in the piece.

Pushing out the scoreline, the Crusaders were able to pull a number of their All Blacks from the pitch, with Kieran Read and Mo'unga both given an early end to their evening.


The Brumbies got some consolation in the form of a 77th minute try to Tevita Kuridrani, but were unable to contain their hosts on the evening.

With the win, the Crusaders continue their domination of the Super Rugby competition. In their opening eight matches, they've lost just one game and sit comfortably at the top of the New Zealand conference.

Crusaders 36 (Will Jordan 2, Sevu Reece 2, Jordan Taufua tries; Richie Mo'unga 3 cons; Brett Cameron con, pen)
Brumbies 14 (Christian Lealiifano, Tevita Kuridrani tries; Lealiifano 2 cons)
HT: 0-7