Crusaders dominate Canes in second half of trial
February 14, 2014
Russell Barwick and Greg Growden look at the New Zealand Super Rugby conference
The Crusaders piled on 27-second-half points in Levin to run out 41-15 winners against the Hurricanes in their final trial before the Super Rugby season begins next weekend.
Beauden Barrett opened the scoring with a runaway try before the Crusaders hit back in the 23rd minute through an intercept try to Johnny NcNicholl.
Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett received a yellow card for tipping Alapati Leiua upside down a minute later and Marty Banks took advantage of the numerical gain to dot down for the Canes shortly afterwards, giving them a 10-7 lead.
McNicholl bagged his double in the 31st minute with a try in the corner to help the Crusaders regain the lead, but Ben Franks ensured the Hurricanes went into the break with a 15-14 advantage after he bowled over for a try.
It was a different Crusaders outfit after half-time though, as they put on four unanswered tries to dominate their opponents.
McNicholl grabbed his hat-trick four minutes into the second stanza and a double to Jordan Ta'fua and a late Willi Heinz try rounded off a confidence-boosting victory ahead of the Crusaders' round-one clash against the defending champions, the Chiefs.
The Hurricanes kick-off their Super Rugby campaign against the Sharks in Durban.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September