Crusaders made to work for bonus win over Waratahs
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The Crusaders scored eight tries to earn a bonus point 54-28 win over the Waratahs at Wollongong Stadium on Saturday as New Zealand sides continue to dominate the 2021 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition.
The loss was the Waratahs' 11th in a row this year and leaves them one defeat short of equaling Melbourne Rebels' record 12-game losing streak for an Australian team in Super Rugby.
Eight different players scored tries for the Crusaders while Richie Mo'unga kicked 14 points as Scott Robertson's side moved back to within a point of the Wellington Hurricanes.
The New Zealanders took an early lead through Mitchell Drummond's eighth minute try, but the kicking of Will Harrison kept the Waratahs in touch and the Crusaders were made to work for the win.
The full back slotted over a pair of penalties inside the first 30 minutes to minimise the damage despite Jack Whetton being sin-binned.
But three tries in the final 10 minutes of the half swung momentum firmly in the Crusaders' favour.
Codie Taylor put the Crusaders 12-6 up before Sevu Reece sold the home defence a dummy that allowed him to sprint through and score.
On the stroke of halftime, Dallas McLeod finished off another fine Crusaders move that saw the Super Rugby Aotearoa champions take a 26-9 lead into the interval.
Scott Barrett's try put the Crusaders further ahead two minutes into the second half, only for the Waratahs to rally and pull to within 10 points.
Two tries in two minutes from Jack Maddocks and Izaia Perese either side of a yellow card for the Crusaders' Oli Jager gave the home fans hope.
But that was dashed when Leicester Fainga'anuku scored for the short-handed visitors while Bryn Hall crawled over the line to further enhance the Crusaders' lead.
Will Jordan scored in the corner after Fergus Burke's crossfield kick to leave Alex Newsome's late try as a consolation for the Waratahs as the New Zealanders notched up their third win in a row against Australian opposition.