Super Rugby 2020: Impressive Crusaders cruise past Highlanders

An impressive first-half performance from the Crusaders has set up a 33-13 win over the Highlanders in Christchurch.

Four tries in 18 minutes from the hosts saw them leap out to a 26-8 lead thanks to some clinical passing and dangerous running from their backs. 

A George Bridge offload saw Codie Taylor cruise in for the opening try.

Tom Christie finished off a stunning piece of play to extend the Crusaders' lead to 12-3. 

Highlanders fullback Michael Collins got the visitors back in the game with a classy finish out wide. 

But All Blacks duo Braydon Ennor and Bridge scored six minutes apart to open up an 18-point lead heading into the break. 

The gap was too much for the southern men to overcome, although they did improve in the second 40, a yellow card to flanker Shannon Frizell didn't help, the 26-year-old yellow carded for a tip-tackle.

But a 63rd minute try from winger Jona Nareki breathed some life into the match for the visitors, cutting it to a 13-point game. 

The three-time defending champions sealed the deal in the 74th minute when Sione Havili crashed over from short-range. 

The Highlanders take on the Rebels next Friday, and the Crusaders have a bye. 

Crusaders 33 (George Bridge, Thomas Christie, Braydon Ennor, Sione Havilii, Codie Taylor tries Bryn Hall 2, Mitchell Drummond, David Havili cons) 

Highlanders 13 (Mike Collins, Jona Nareki tries Josh Ioane pen)