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Red-hot Crusaders crush Highlanders

Date

Crusaders 51 Highlanders 18

Zac Guilford of the Crusaders breaks away to score his first of two tries.

Zac Guilford of the Crusaders breaks away to score his first of two tries. Photo: Getty Images

The Crusaders have racked up a half-century for their second Super Rugby match in a row, beating the Highlanders 51-18 to consolidate their place in the competition's top six.

MATCH STATS

The seven-time champions, who downed the Blues 59-12 two weeks ago, showed no rust from having had a bye to run in seven tries to two in Christchurch on Friday night.

Wyatt Crockett of the Crusaders makes a break.

Wyatt Crockett of the Crusaders makes a break. Photo: Getty images

For the Highlanders, who got the better of their southern rivals in their earlier meeting this season, the result leaves them in mid-table.

A match that began with both sides showing huge intensity at the breakdown was broken open in the second quarter.

The Crusaders took full advantage of a yellow card shown to Highlanders flanker James Haskell for playing the ball on the ground near his line.

Turning point ... Steve Walsh sends James Haskell (unpictured) to the sin bin.

Turning point ... Steve Walsh sends James Haskell (unpictured) to the sin bin. Photo: Getty Images

With the England international off the field, they ran in three tries, two to winger Zac Guildford, to kick out to a 32-13 lead before halftime.

Haskell's sinbinning was the second of the half, with referee Steve Walsh showing yellow to Crusaders flanker George Whitelock after just 16 minutes for a similar offence.

While Whitelock, the match's opening tryscorer, was off, the Highlanders hit the front through centre Tamati Ellison, who brushed off two defenders to dot down.

From there, the Crusaders took over.

Guildford's first touchdown came from a Crusaders breakout while he nabbed his second when he latched on to five-eighth Dan Carter's deft kick ahead.

From the kick-off, centre Ryan Crotty finished off fellow midfielder Robbie Fruean's big break for the bonus-point try.

Skipper Richie McCaw put his side further ahead early in the second half when he completed another long-range attack.

By now, the Crusaders were dominant as they began throwing the ball around, and prop Wyatt Crockett was next to score.

At 44-13 down, the Highlanders got some respite with winger Hosea Gear snaring an intercept try, but the home side got the last word with replacement flanker Matt Todd being driven over from a lineout.

CRUSADERS 51 (Zac Guildford 2, Wyatt Crockett, Ryan Crotty, Richard McCaw, Matt Todd, George Whitelock tries Daniel Carter 5 cons 2 pens) bt HIGHLANDERS 18 (Tamati Ellison, Hosea Gear tries Chris Noakes con 2 pens) at Christchurch Stadium. Referee: Steve R. Walsh

AAP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
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