The Crusaders are heading to yet another Super Rugby playoff. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

WELLINGTON The Crusaders eased into the Super Rugby playoffs with a 54-17 thrashing of the Blues on Saturday.

The Crusaders already had the top spot sewn up and were able to score points when it mattered against a Blues side destined to finish second to last on the overall table. 

But despite the eight-tries-to-three hiding, Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock was not totally happy.

"Definitely that middle part. We'll have a good review," he said referring to the Blues' two second-half tries.

"We gave away a lot of penalties, we didn't learn from our mistakes and if you give any side a number of opportunities they're going to score."

Tries to Jack Goodhue, George Bridge and Seta Tamanivalu saw the Crusaders lead 19-5 at the break with the Blues sole points coming from a Melani Nanai try. 

Bridge was to score two more tries in the second half to go equal top of the try scoring list with 14 for the season.

Although the Blues had parity with possession they lacked the Crusaders ability to recycle quick ball which nullified their attempts to build momentum until midway through the second spell when they bounced back with two tries.

One was a penalty try from a rare dominant scrum, and Nanai followed with his second to close the gap to 26-17. 

That was enough for the Crusaders to put the foot down again, which saw Bridge score twice more with a try each to Whitelock and Bryn Hall.


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