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Winning send-off for Crusaders pair

Published 08/05/2015

Dan Carter, left, and Richie McCaw bade farewell to Christchurch in a thumping win
Dan Carter, left, and Richie McCaw bade farewell to Christchurch in a thumping win

The Crusaders gave Dan Carter and Richie McCaw the perfect send-off with a 58-17 win over the Reds in Super Rugby with two Nemani Nedolo tries.

With Carter leaving for Racing Metro and McCaw also leaving the club after the World Cup, either for retirement or an overseas move, Friday's game was the last in Christchurch for both players.

After a tight first half, t he burly wing scored off an interception a minute after the interval and crashed over again 12 minutes later to put his side well on top.

Sam Whitelock, Matt Todd, Jone Macilai and Dominic Bird also crossed to add to first-half scores from half-backs Andy Ellis and Colin Slade in an ultimately one-sided scoreline.

The Reds had only tries from Samu Kerevi and Chris Feauai-Sautia and seven points from James O'Connor's boot to show for their efforts.

Nadolo was influential from the outset, breaking through two tackles to send Ellis over in the second minute with Slade converting.

O'Connor responded with a penalty but Carter, who lined up at inside centre in a Crusaders line-up brimming with creativity, was involved as Slade went over after an exchange of passes.

James Slipper prevented Codie Taylor adding a third try while at the other end, the Reds' pack were held up following a line-out drive.

Slade slotted a penalty and another Reds drive, with Bird in the sin-bin for the Crusaders, was denied a try by a penalty decision.

But right on half-time another strong line-out allowed the forwards to set up centre Kerevi for a try converted by O'Connor to cut the deficit to 15-10.

It did not last for the Reds, though, as the 14-man Crusaders made the perfect start to the second half with Nadolo picking off a pass and storming across the whitewash.

Slade converted and added a penalty before Nadolo again barrelled over, Slade slotting the extras once more to make it 32-10.

It was soon 39-10 as Whitelock scored the try of the match, a jinking 60-metre run from his own half capped by another Slade kick.

In no mood to let up, the hosts sent on New Zealand captain McCaw for the final 25 minutes - and straight from the restart they scored again as flanker Todd took Nadolo's pass and went over.

Macilai powered in in the 62nd minute and when Bird added the eighth try, Slade knocked over his sixth conversion for a personal haul of 23 points.

The Reds went in search of a consolation score and after some sustained pressure, and some impressive goal-line defence from the hosts, Feauai-Sautia finally broke through and O'Connor converted.

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