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Watch: Crusaders dazzle as Will Jordan bamboozles Highlanders defence

By Sam Smith
Will Jordan. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

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The Crusaders saved their best until last on Friday night, scoring 17 unanswered points in the second half against the Crusaders to remain unbeaten two rounds into Super Rugby Pacific.

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Scott Robertson’s men scored four tries throughout the match, with Sevu Reece dotting down twice and big replacement prop Tamaiti Williams crashing over for the bonus point try late in the game, but it was Will Jordan’s score in the 67th minute that helped shake off a dogged Highlanders side that was most memorable.

Jordan had an immense game, accumulating 78 metres on attack while constantly pegging the Highlanders back with some well-placed kicks. He had also helped set up Reece’s second try of the evening, running an excellent line once the ball was spun wide from a lineout drive, drifting outside the Highlanders defence before sending the ball out to Reece for a simple run-in to the line.

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Pablo Matera explains his decision to sign for the Crusaders.
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Pablo Matera explains his decision to sign for the Crusaders.

The try of Jordan’s own, however, was something else altogether.

The Crusaders began the attack inside their own half with replacement first five Simon Hickey sending the ball wide to last week’s hat-trick hero Leicester Fainga’anuku who, by his own standards, had a relatively quiet night up to that point.

Fainga’anuku headed towards the sideline and pushed through the tackles of Fetuli Paea and James Lentjes to give a superb offload out to George Bridge, who had recently come onto the field for Reece. Bridge, in space, zipped up the right wing, drew in Connor Garden-Bachop and passed the ball back in-field to Will Jordan on the Highlanders 10-metre line.

Jordan skipped past the tackles of Sam Gilbert and Gareth Evans and cut between reserve forwards Rhys Marshall and Marino Mikaele-Tu’u and while Marshall was able to keep hold of Jordan, he couldn’t stop the 24-year-old fullback from fighting his way across the try-line.

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It was a try that required speed, skill and strength, and highlighted how dangerous Will Jordan can be with some front-foot ball.

The Crusaders have scored nine tries over their opening two matches, winning 42-32 against the Hurricanes last weekend in Dunedin and finishing up 34-19 trumps in the same location against the Highlanders.

With just one game played in the second round of the Super Rugby Pacific season, the Crusaders top the ladder on nine competition points.

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