The defending champions opened the match with four tries in the first twenty minutes, racing out to a 26-0 lead, which was too much to overcome by the visitors.
George Bridge opened the scoring in the seventh minute, touching down millimetres inside the corner flag following a scrum penalty inside the five. Cody Taylor was next to score in the tenth minute after Mo’unga held up the defence to free the hooker down the left edge.
Billy Harmon, filling in for the injured Matt Todd, scored the Crusaders third on a nice pet play after sustained pressure inside the Stormers five. From the ensuing kickoff, the home side went 80 metres in one phase for their fourth try following a Pete Samu break. Halfback Bryn Hall finished the movement under the posts all but sealing the match for the Crusaders.
The Stormers will rue missed opportunities as they turned the ball over twice deep on attack inside the Crusaders 22 during this flurry. They eventually stemmed the flow of points and worked their way back into the match, opening their account in the 32nd minute through prop JC Van Rensburg.
In the final minute of the half, another turnover inside the opposition 22 by the Stormers led to a long break by the Crusaders on counter-attack. On the next phase, a grubber kick from Jack Goodhue was botched by the Stormers and snaffled up by George Bridge, who scored his second and took the lead out to 31-7 going into halftime. The try assist was Goodhue’s third of the half.
The Stormers did well to fight back early in the second half, scoring two tries to the other prop Wilco Louw and lock JD Schickerling from short range. At 31-21 the Stormers believed they were back with a chance, but when Mo’unga put Seta Tamanivalu through a gap for their fifth try in the 62nd minute their fate was sealed.
Richie Mo’unga then danced his way past three Stormers defenders to stroll over untouched for a magic try in the 69th minute, showing unbelievable footwork to bamboozle the ruck defenders.
The Stormers scored a late consolation try to Steven Kitshoff in the 76th minute but could not find the line again as time expired, going home empty handed as the Crusaders finished with a bonus-point 45-28 victory.
HIGHLIGHTS | The BNZ Crusaders have notched their second bonus-point win in as many weeks with a thrilling seven-try win over the Stormers in Christchurch.MATCH REPORT: http://bit.ly/2oMrKux#CRUvSTO
Posted by Investec Super Rugby on Saturday, 3 March 2018
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