The Queensland Reds have proved no match for the Crusaders, losing 63-28 in a battle of the respective domestic Super Rugby champions in Brisbane.
- The Reds conceded nine tries against the Crusaders, who won Super Rugby Aotearoa
- Also on Saturday, the Blues defeated New South Wales 48-21 and the Chiefs beat the Brumbies 40-19
- New Zealand teams have won all 10 matches against Australian opponents so far in Super Rugby trans-Tasman
The flogging completed another perfect round for New Zealand opponents over their Australian counterparts in Super Rugby trans-Tasman, the head-to-head meetings now reading 10-0 in a deflating fortnight after the highs of the Reds’ dramatic domestic title win over the Brumbies.
In other results on Saturday, the Blues defeated New South Wales 48-21 and the Chiefs thrashed the Brumbies 40-19.
Where the Reds fumbled and were shunted back in tackles, the Crusaders were sharp, clear-minded and possessed a top gear that proved far too much for the Reds.
Form five-eighth Richie Mo’unga did as he pleased for the visitors at Lang Park, scoring three tries to help the Crusaders post their highest total against the Reds and ensure the 2011 Super Rugby final loss to them remains their most recent.
Brad Thorn’s side started promisingly when they came close to scoring in the second minute, only for Taniela Tupou to spill the ball over the line.
But 12 minutes later it was 21-0 in favour of the Crusaders, with David Havili coming from nowhere to intercept and set up Cullen Grace after Mo’unga and Sevu Reece had already crossed.
Mo’unga ran in his second before Tate McDermott scampered over to briefly stop the rot.
The Reds looked to steady in the second half but Reece exploited a bizarre rule to steal back possession, jumping from well outside the field of play to mark the ball and land back in-field.
He then ran onto a pin-point Havili cross-field kick, the lead swelling to 49-7 with two more tries before the 60th minute.
Back rower Harry Wilson did his best to inspire the Reds, dummying as he raced down the wing to score then two minutes later charging down a kick and flicking a pass over his shoulder for Suliasi Vunivalu to cross for the third time in two games.
At 49-21, the Crusaders resumed normal service, although the Reds added another consolation try and Vunivalu twice came close in a confident performance that would give Wallabies coach Dave Rennie something to cheer.