WELLINGTON –The Crusaders scored nine tries in a 57-28 pummelling of the Waikato Chiefs while Rieko Ioane bagged four to give the Blues their first win of the season in Saturday's Super Rugby clashes on Saturday.
The Crusaders' latest fullback find Will Jordan scored twice, as did All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor in his first outing of the year.
Wing Sevu Reece, unwanted by the Chiefs and dumped by Irish side Connacht, made the most of his Crusaders lifeline with a hand in several tries, including one of his own.
Ioane benefitted from a slick service by scrum-half Gus Pulu as the Blues climbed off the bottom of the table with a 28-20 win over the Tokyo-based Sunwolves.
Canterbury's overwhelming win saw the reigning champions extend their winning streak to 19 matches while the 2012 and 2013 champion Chiefs remain winless after four rounds.
Despite the lopsided scoreline, the Crusaders went off the boil in the closing minutes – a concern for Taylor.
"We slacked off last week against the Reds and so we played a good 65 minutes today which was awesome to see, but we've still got a lot to work on in that last 15," he said.
Reece was instrumental in two quick tries, outsmarting Damian McKenzie both times to set up Braydon Ennor for the first and scoring himself for the second to give the red-and-blacks an early 12-point buffer.
The 21-year-old Jordan then stepped up with his pace and precise support lines to score twice while hulking hooker Andrew Makalio also scored to bring the Crusaders 33-7 ahead.
The Chiefs try to back-rower Taleni Seu and one in the second half to left wing Etene Nanai-Seturo came from their superior scrum power -- one area where they had an advantage.
But they suffered from excessive turnovers and an ineffectual defence as prop Michael Alaalatoa, Taylor (twice) and Bryn Hall scored to have the Crusaders up 57-14 before late Chiefs tries by Jack Debreczeni and Mitchell Brown.
The Blues came from 6-0 down to lead the Sunwolves 15-13 at half-time with two tries from Ioane and a penalty and conversion from Harry Plummer.
Rikiya Matsuda scored all the Sunwolves points with a converted try and two penalties.
Ioane scored twice more in the second half with Otere Black adding a penalty, while Uwe Helu scored a second try for the Sunwolves.
"It's been a tough few weeks," a relieved Blues hooker James Parson said after the Blues dedicated the win to the memory of former squad member Michael Tamoaieta, who died last week.
"The way our scrum performed tonight it was all for Mikey, he was with us tonight."AFP