Super Rugby
Eight-try Crusaders thump listless Sharks
April 4, 2015
Report Match details
Date/Time: Apr 4, 2015, 15:00 local, 13:00 GMT
Venue: Kings Park Stadium, Durban
Sharks 10 - 52 Crusaders
Half-time: 3 - 28
Tries: Ndungane
Cons: Zeilinga
Pens: Lambie
Tries: Crotty, Dagg, Ellis, Fonotia, Havili, Slade, TJ Taylor, Todd
Cons: Slade 5, TJ Taylor
Andre Esterhuizen is taken down by the Crusaders' defence, Sharks v Crusaders, Super Rugby, Growthpoint Kings Park, March 4, 2015
The Crusaders smothered the Sharks
© Getty Images
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The Crusaders have conjured a record 52-10 win over the Sharks in Durban despite losing three players to yellow cards. The Super Rugby match was marked by some sparking attacking play from the visitors, along with four cards dished out in the four minutes before half-time, including the red-card dismissal of Sharks flanker Jean Deysel.

South African referee Stuart Berry produced the red card when Deysel delivered a knee to the head of Matt Todd. Deysel was also sent off when the teams met in Christchurch last year, for kicking flanker Richie McCaw's head.

Sharks 10-52 Crusaders

The Sharks won that game but they were never in the hunt in front of a silenced Durban crowd, conceding four tries in each half while producing just one consolation of their own, to wing Odwa Ndungane. They suffered their heaviest home defeat to sink to a 4-4 win-loss record while the Crusaders improve to 4-3.

It was the Crusaders' second 50-point win of the season, having thumped the Cheetahs at home two weeks ago before a humbling 31-19 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria. Standout fullback Israel Dagg lauded his team's improved attitude in what has been an erratic campaign.

"A couple of weeks ago we really questioned our effort as a team so it's good to see the boys working really hard and showing a bit of heart."

Dagg and half-back Andy Ellis scored tries inside the first six minutes as the Crusaders attacked with fluency, making regular headway against a fragile defence. Midfield backs Ryan Crotty and Kieron Fonotia also crossed before the game erupted in controversy with the Crusaders 28-3 up heading into the break.

Prop Nepo Laulala and Fonotia were both shown yellow cards for shoulder charges and wing Nemani Nadolo suffered the same fate for time-wasting. Down to 12 men, the Crusaders received a reprieve through Deysel's indiscipline.

Red cards are proving problematic for the Sharks, who had two players sent off in their narrow home win over the Chiefs two weeks ago. They couldn't halt the tide after half-time, conceding tries to first five-eighth Colin Slade, wing David Havili, Todd and replacement back Tom Taylor, who scampered 80m in the game's final play after pouncing on a dropped ball.

Slade finished with 17 points, starting in place of playmaking maestro Dan Carter who had returned home to attend the birth of his second child. The Crusaders also had the luxury of bringing another All Blacks great, Richie McCaw, off the bench in a team performance which was packed with ominous power.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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