Super Rugby 2019: Richie Mo'unga magic helps Crusaders to bonus-point win over Bulls

A Richie Mo'unga masterclass along with a hat-trick to Sevu Reece propelled the Crusaders to a convincing 45-13 bonus-point win over the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday (NZ time).

First-five Mo'unga scored 20 points (two tries, five conversions) in a man-of-the-match performance, while Reece's three five-pointers saw his season tally rise to nine in just seven Super Rugby appearances in his debut season.

In total the Crusaders scored seven tries, with locks Mitchell Dunshea and Scott Barrett also crossing the line.

After sitting out last week's disappointing 21-21 draw against the Sharks, New Zealand international Mo'unga was back on deck, and he steered the Kiwi franchise around Loftus Versfeld to perfection during his time on the field.

Mo'unga scored two of the Crusaders' four first-half tries as they raced out to a 26-6 halftime lead.

The 24-year-old's first try came courteous of a Bulls mistake when captain Handre Pollard failed to gather a grubber kick, and Mo'unga swooped on the loose ball to score under the posts.

Pollard then kicked a penalty goal to close the gap, but it wasn't long before Mo'unga scored again when he stepped past two Bulls players for his second of the match.

Pollard then kicked his second goal of the game, and Crusaders would cross again soon after when Dunshea scored on the left wing.

Reece then scored just before the break to effectively put the result beyond doubt before halftime.

The Crusaders came out firing in the second half, and Reece scored his second of the match in the 48th minute as the visitors started to hit their stride.

It took nearly an hour before the Bulls scored their only try, some slick passing putting Burger Odendaal over the line, which brought the crowd to their feet.

But their joy was short-lived as Mo'unga found Reece with a pin-point cross-kick as the Fijian born winger completed his hat-trick.

Barrett scored the Crusaders' seventh just before the fulltime siren as the two-time defending champions claimed their ninth win of the season.

The win may have come at a cost, as All Blacks prop Joe Moody limped off with a nasty gash on his knee early in the second half.

The Crusaders will remain in South Africa as they face the Stormers next weekend, while the Bulls head to Australia to begin their four-week tour of Australasia.

Newshub.

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