Crusaders hit back with 28-13 Super Rugby win over Blues


Wellington (AFP)

The Canterbury Crusaders displayed their Super Rugby championship credentials with a 28-13 win over the Auckland Blues in Christchurch on Friday.

The seven-time champion Crusaders hit back after being defeated in the opening round.

The Crusaders, coming off an opening-round loss to the Waikato Chiefs, dominated the early exchanges as the sides exchanged penalties.

With their forwards on top, the home side were rewarded with a penalty try in the 18th minute after the Blues repeatedly collapsed the scrum.

The Crusaders went into the break unlucky to be up only 13-3 after failing to fully capitalise on a string of handling errors and penalties from the Blues.

The aggression continued with two chances for the Crusaders after the restart.

First prop Joe Moody was held up over the line, then Auckland needed desperate defence from Ihaia West to prevent a Jordan Taufua try.

New All Blacks captain Kieran Read finally broke through after a run from winger Nemani Nadolo left the Blues' defence flat footed.

Winger Tevita Li managed a consolation try for the Blues but Richie Mo'unga sealed the Crusaders' victory with a five-pointer in the final minute.