Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021: Freakish Fainga'anuku try highlights Crusaders romp over Chiefs

Flying winger Leicester Fainga'anuku has scored a freakish try, sparking the Crusaders to a spectacular 39-17 victory over the Chiefs at Christchurch's Orangetheory Stadium.

The four-time defending champions produced an attacking-rugby masterclass to extend their lead atop of the Super Rugby Aotearoa ladder.

The game was highlighted by a spectacular finish from Fainga’anuku, as the home side fought to make up an early 10-point deficit.

After 15 minutes, midfielder David Havilli exploded into space, before firing a pass left to Fainga'anuku, who finished acrobatically in the corner.

The big wing's body was completely out of the field of play, but he twisted and somehow found a way to ground the ball, despite Damian McKenzie's desperate tackle.

The Chiefs made a red-hot start, with livewire McKenzie showing great footwork to crash over after 90 seconds.

McKenzie kept the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty goal to extend his side's lead, before the Crusaders found their stride.

Fainga'anuku struck first, before two Mo'unga penalty goals gave them an 11-10 lead at half-time.

The game swung the Crusaders' way with a very controversial moment four minutes into the second half.

Chiefs skipper Sam Cane used his challenge to check a potential forward pass, but television match official ruled that halfback Brad Weber had knocked the ball backwards.

The TMO then ruled a penalty try, when Weber held the ball up from an offside position, so he was also yellow-carded. Subsequent replay angles showed Weber had not make contact with the ball in the first instance. 

During his absence, Will Jordan extended the lead to 25-10 and extinguish the Chiefs' last hopes of an upset. Forwards Whetu Douglas and Mitch Dunshea added to the points haul, capitalising on impressive continuity, while Etene Nanai-Seturo snatched a late consolation try for the Chiefs.

The Chiefs have now matched the Highlanders' record 11 straight losses - the worst NZ losing streak in Super Rugby - and must beat the Hurricanes next Saturday to avoid outright possession of that ignominy.

Meanwhile, the Crusaders face the Blues in what looms as a potential competition decider on Sunday.

Crusaders 39 (Fainga'anuku, Douglas, Dunshea & Jordan tries; penalty try; Mo'unga 2 penalties & 2 conversions, Burke conversion) Chiefs 17 (McKenzie & Nanai-Seturo tries; McKenzie penalty & 2 conversions)

Join us at 3:30pm Sunday for live updates of the Blues v Highlanders Super Aotearoa clash