When the draw for Super Rugby Aotearoa was first revealed, Crusaders fans may have been frustrated that their side would sit out the opening round with a bye. The opening minutes of Sunday’s clash between the Crusaders and the Hurricanes in Wellington showed that despite not having played a first-class match in more than three months, there’s absolutely no rust for the red and black machine to shake off.

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It took just 59 seconds for the Crusaders to score their first match of the competition – courtesy of dynamic All Blacks wing Sevu Reece.

Hurricanes hooker and co-captain Dane Coles threw into the line-out 35-metres out from the Crusaders goal-line but the ball sailed over the top of the jumpers and returning Crusaders flanker Billy Harmon was quick to pounce.

The Crusaders then worked the ball left via Jack Goodhue before switching to the right from the next breakdown. Joe Moody, Richie Mo’unga and Codie Taylor offloaded in quick succession before the Crusaders found some open space in the midfield for blindside flanker Cullen Grace to unleash Reece.

One easy one-two between the Fijian winger and Taylor later, and Reece was diving into the corner for the Crusaders’ first try of their new campaign.

Having sat out the first week of the competition, many suspected that it might take a little bit of time for the 2019 Super Rugby champions to click into gear – but those suspicions were quickly quashed.

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Fans were quick to take to Twitter to laud the Crusaders’ potency:

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If the Cantabrians are able to put tries like this together despite not having played any competitive rugby in months, how lethal will they be once they’ve had a bit more time in the saddle?

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