Super Rugby Pacific: Crusaders seal second spot before finals with unconvincing Reds victory

The Crusaders have cemented their position in second place on the Super Rugby Pacific table after a comprehensive 28-15 victory over the Reds in Christchurch.

It wasn't always pretty but the result guarantees a home semi-final should they advance from the quarter-finals, which will be a rematch against the travelling Queenslanders.

The home team lost halfback Bryn Hall to injury during the warmups, and All Blacks winger, Sevu Reece just 10 minutes into the encounter after a head knock.

But it did little to upset their rhythm early on as first-five Fergus Burke went over for the first try just minutes later after a dominant scrum win against the tighthead.

Will Jordan crossed shortly after some brilliant interchange between David Havili and George Bower freed Braydon Ennor to link up with his fullback to stroll over for the try.

Former NRL star Suliasi Vunivalu showed why he's so highly thought of after showing great pace to beat opposite Leicester Fainga'anuku but couldn't find his support runner.

Both sides were guilty of perhaps trying too much and struggled for momentum. The Reds were able to pull back a penalty goal through the boot of Lawson Creighton but that was as good as it got for the visitors in the first half.

Back-to-back powerful mauls from the Crusaders saw hooker, Brodie McAlister have the easiest of put downs as their forward pack marched their way over the try-line.

Jordan came close to grabbing his second try shortly after halftime but a scrambling Reds defence kept him out.

Argentinian, Pablo Matera was shown a yellow card for a dump tackle on Jordan Petaia, after the centre was dropped on his shoulder.

The Reds would immediately make the numerical advantage count as replacement hooker Richie Asiata crashed over after some powerful drives from the forwards.

Tom Christie hit back with a try of his own after showing awareness to spin out of the tackle and dot down, before Harry Wilson went over for the game's final score.

Crusaders 28 (Burke, Jordan, McAlister, Christie tries; Burke conversion 4x)

Reds 15 (Asiata, Wilson tries; Creighton penalty, Creighton conversion 1x)