Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Crusaders make a statement with shutout win over Melbourne Rebels

By AAP
The Crusaders celebrate a try scored by Johnny McNicholl during the round ten Super Rugby Pacific match between Crusaders and Melbourne Rebels at Apollo Projects Stadium, on April 26, 2024, in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

The Melbourne Rebels have been handed a massive Super Rugby Pacific reality check, kept scoreless and brutalised by the Crusaders in a 39-0 humbling.

ADVERTISEMENT

In Christchurch, the visitors were never in the contest and were absolutely monstered up front by a side that came into Friday’s fixture on the bottom of the ladder.

The fourth-ranked Rebels had won their previous three games to insert themselves in the finals frame, but were well and truly reminded about the difficulties of winning games in New Zealand.

Video Spacer

Chasing the Sun on RugbyPass TV | RPTV

Chasing the Sun, the extraordinary documentary that traces the Springboks’ road to victory at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, is coming to RugbyPass TV.

Watch now

Video Spacer

Chasing the Sun on RugbyPass TV | RPTV

Chasing the Sun, the extraordinary documentary that traces the Springboks’ road to victory at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, is coming to RugbyPass TV.

Watch now

Crusaders No.8 Christian Lio-Wllie and flanker Cullen Grace put them 10-0 clear in 17 minutes, but the floodgates really opened late with three second-half tries against a broken Rebels outfit.

Match Summary

1
Penalty Goals
0
6
Tries
0
3
Conversions
0
0
Drop Goals
0
127
Carries
72
7
Line Breaks
2
17
Turnovers Lost
16
8
Turnovers Won
3

Their scrum was completely decimated in the first half, to the point that coach Kevin Foote replaced the entire front row before the break.

Matt Gibbon, Alex Mafi and Sam Talakai were hooked on the half-hour after a shift that saw them concede three penalties and lose multiple scrums against their own feed, including one where the Crusaders drove them back into their own in-goal.

The bench group – including Wallabies talents Taniela Tupou and Jordan Uelese – solidified things in the short term, but were eventually worn down by the hosts’ power.

ADVERTISEMENT

Perhaps things could have been different if Rebels forward Josh Kemeny had grounded a short-range effort on the stroke of halftime, but he lost control of the ball diving for the line in what was a chance to pull them to within a single score while trailing 10-0.

Instead the Crusaders resumed their dominance after the break, Lio-Willie powering over for a second before Rivez Reihana knocked over a penalty to put them 18-0 clear on 50 minutes.

Owen Franks, Sevu Reece and Johnny McNicholl cashed in late when the Rebels threw in the towel.

It was just the Crusaders’ second win of the campaign, but they immediately jumped into ninth spot to remain a competition factor.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Rebels have another difficult task next weekend, hosting the Blues at AAMI Park.

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

6 Comments
J
Jasyn 46 days ago

Now if they could just fire the Crusaders ground PA guy who likes to play his dance music and just loves the sound of his own voice the entire game, even when play is going on.

And I thought their brass band thing of a few years ago was bad.

U
Utiku Old Boy 46 days ago

Big difference from the Saders. Forwards really muscled up and laid a solid platform. Scooter brought some steel and I liked the loosie combination. Newell has been rather disappointing this season but stepped up big time - happy also to see Franks dot down. He should do that more often! Reihana had a good game and there seems to be more flair and invention with him in the saddle. McNicoll plays well from the back and is reliable plus inventive when he joins the line. Keep it up chaps!

G
Graham 47 days ago

Christian Lio -Willies 2 try perfomance was a standout. As was captain Scott Barrett. Up front was where the boys won it.They are a great team and players. Fantastic Crusaders , you can keep going.

Load More Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

FEATURE
FEATURE Leinster have made their big call, but something still needs to change Leinster have made their big call, but something still needs to change
Search