Crusaders, Highlanders too clinical in their demolition victories

Crusaders vs Lions
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New Zealand teams the Crusaders and the Highlanders dominated proceedings in their Super Rugby matches on Friday.

The defending champions, the Crusaders, defeated the Lions in Christchurch while the Highlanders completed a demolition job over the Sunwolves in Japan, winning 52-0.

Given the troubles in the Lions camp in recent weeks with the absence of their Coach Swys de Bruyn and some key players as well as the late withdrawal of Captain Warren Whitely no one would have expected too much of a resistance from the visitors in this clash.

While the Joburg outfit defended bravely in some in Stances and dominated the scrums, the defending champions were clinical comfortably running in two tries in the first half to lead 17-3 at the break.

As is their style, the Crusaders were simply relentless in the second half. Demonstrating their depth, pace and finesse the tournament leaders scored two more tries in two minutes to extend their advantage. The Lions responded with a try of their own to get into double figures as Ruan Combrink made a great interception.

That was just about all the tourists could muster in Christchurch as the Saders remained in the driving seat. They eventually outclassed their opponents by five tries to one, reasserting their dominance at the top of the New Zealand conference with a bonus point victory.

It was one-way traffic in the second Super Rugby clash of the day as the Highlanders ran rampant against the Sunwolves in Tokyo. The hapless hosts who have recorded just two wins in nine outings this season simply had no answer to the Kiwi outfit.

The Highlanders oozing confidence from their victory over the Blues last Saturday scored almost a point a minute at one stage comfortably crossing the whitewash five times in the first half, to lead 33-nil at half-time and it didn’t get any better for the Sunwolves in the second half.

The Highlanders continued to call the shots with virtually no response from their opponents. They ran in three more tries for a comprehensive 52-nil victory.