Crusaders dominate Canes in second half of trial
February 14, 2014
Russell Barwick and Greg Growden look at the New Zealand Super Rugby conference
The Crusaders piled on 27-second-half points in Levin to run out 41-15 winners against the Hurricanes in their final trial before the Super Rugby season begins next weekend.
Beauden Barrett opened the scoring with a runaway try before the Crusaders hit back in the 23rd minute through an intercept try to Johnny NcNicholl.
Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett received a yellow card for tipping Alapati Leiua upside down a minute later and Marty Banks took advantage of the numerical gain to dot down for the Canes shortly afterwards, giving them a 10-7 lead.
McNicholl bagged his double in the 31st minute with a try in the corner to help the Crusaders regain the lead, but Ben Franks ensured the Hurricanes went into the break with a 15-14 advantage after he bowled over for a try.
It was a different Crusaders outfit after half-time though, as they put on four unanswered tries to dominate their opponents.
McNicholl grabbed his hat-trick four minutes into the second stanza and a double to Jordan Ta'fua and a late Willi Heinz try rounded off a confidence-boosting victory ahead of the Crusaders' round-one clash against the defending champions, the Chiefs.
The Hurricanes kick-off their Super Rugby campaign against the Sharks in Durban.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd