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Mo'unga ABs' starting 10?


Fans call for Richie Mo'unga to start at 10 for All Blacks following masterclass performance against Bulls

Crusaders first-five Richie Mo’unga has sent fans into raptures on social media with a sensational outing during his side’s 45-13 thrashing of the Bulls in Pretoria on Friday.

Mo’unga was again in sublime form for the reigning back-to-back Super Rugby champions, scoring two tries, assisting a third, running for 98 metres and beating four defenders from two clean breaks, and converting five from six kicks at goal.

His running game was a particular highlight, with the second of his two tries coming from a clean break after a taking the ball to the line and fooling the opposition defence with a dummy on the Bulls’ 10 metre mark.

A wicked step past the flailing defensive effort of Cornal Hendricks on the 22 metre mark was enough to see him score under the posts, despite a late tackle attempt from Divan Rossouw.

Mo’unga’s kicking ability was also lauded by fans online, with the 24-year-old completing two pinpoint cross kicks in consecutive phases to assist the third of Sevu Reece’s tries.

So good was his form in his side’s win that many took to Twitter to express their admiration for the nine-test All Black’s performance, with some suggesting that he deserves the starting first-five jersey over the incumbent and two-time World Rugby Player of the Year Beauden Barrett.

Mo’unga wasn’t the only player that impressed onlookers from that clash, with hat-trick hero Reece enhancing his credentials as a potential bolter in the All Blacks’ World Cup squad with another standout display on the right wing.

The 22-year-old’s three tries means his personal tally of tries this season stands at nine, elevating him to second in this season’s Super Rugby try-scoring charts, trailing only Brumbies hooker Folau Fainga’a, who has 10.

The victory keeps the Crusaders at the summit of the Super Rugby standings with 47 points from 12 matches, seven points clear of the next closest team, the Hurricanes.

Meanwhile, the Bulls remain at the top of the South African conference and sit in third spot on the overall table with 28 points, but could be overtaken by the Sharks and/or Jaguares in their conference should either or both sides secure victory this weekend.

The Short Ball:

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Fans call for Richie Mo'unga to start at 10 for All Blacks following masterclass performance against Bulls