Crusaders cruise to victory
The Crusaders claimed a 34-6 bonus-point win over the Lions in Christchurch as they got their Super Rugby season back on track.
Andy Ellis, Kieron Fonotia and captain Kieran Read all scored tries, with a penalty try, two penalties and all four conversions kicked by fly-half Dan Carter.
Elton Jantjies kicked two penalties for the Lions.
The result means the Crusaders doubled the number of tries they had scored in their first three matches, with Carter playing the full 80 minutes after recovering from a leg injury.
The Crusaders took a 13-3 lead into half-time thanks to Ellis' try plus a conversion and two successful penalties from Carter.
Jantjies got the Lions' first points on the board from the tee just before the break and added a second early in the second half to cut the gap to seven points.
Momentum shifted in the hosts' favour in the 50th minute when Lions prop Julian Redelinghuys was sent to the sin bin after being warned repeatedly in the first half for not holding his weight against All Blacks opposite Wyatt Crockett.
The Crusaders took advantage of having the extra man by dominating a set of scrums against a makeshift Lions pack, with referee Nick Briant having no option but to award a penalty try.
Nemani Nadolo's breakaway put Fonotia over for the Crusaders' third touchdown, Carter again converting, before Read claimed an interception and raced 22 metres for the bonus-point try. Carter again added the extras for the Crusaders.
After the match, Read told superxv.com: "We played well in the first half but the accuracy wasn't there and there were a few errors. But the intent was there.
"We saw what this Lions pack could do against a good Blues pack last week so the boys up front did a great job and put some immense pressure on them."