Christchurch - Flyhalf Colin Slade kicked 23 points as the Canterbury Crusaders crushed the Australian conference-leading ACT Brumbies 40-20 in Christchurch on Saturday to storm into Super Rugby playoff contention.
The seven-times champions had tries from wingers Johnny McNicholl and Nemani Nadolo and a late effort from loose forward Luke Whitelock but Slade's punishment of an unusually ill-disciplined performance from the Brumbies was a big factor in the home side's dominance.
The Crusaders welcomed back flanker Richie McCaw after a long injury lay-off and he played the full 80 minutes after openside Matt Todd was among three Crusaders forced off the pitch by injury in the first 18 minutes.
The Brumbies, runners-up last year, scored tries at the start and end of the second half through hooker Stephen Moore and replacement back Pat McCabe but will rue some sloppy execution and tackling throughout the match. - Reuters