Crusaders No.8 steamrolls Damian McKenzie to score against Chiefs

Crusaders beat Chiefs to close in on Super Rugby title

Chiefs 19-32 Crusaders: Visitors put one hand on Super Rugby Aotearoa title

Crusaders No.8 Tom Sanders got the better of Chiefs fullback Damian McKenzie, flattening his opponent in his side's 32-19 victory in Hamilton.

The Crusaders lost their first game of Super Rugby Aotearoa last Saturday against the Hurricanes and said throughout this week they were in no mood to repeat the experience against the Chiefs.

On the other side of the coin, it was a miserable way for Aaron Cruden to mark his 100th game for the Chiefs, as his side, playing for nothing but pride, notched up their eighth successive loss on this horror streak.

"We didn't front up last week and we knew what sort of game we were coming up here for".

The Chiefs copped a shocking call on the Crusaders' fourth try of the night, to Sevu Reece in the 61st minute, which sent them on their road to defeat.

Rather than try to go around him though, Sanders simply barged straight over the top of McKenzie to score the Crusaders' first of the evening.

The Crusaders easily anticipated the Chiefs' early tactics.

Flyhalf Richie Mo'unga added two conversions and a penalty.

The Chiefs began to look more threatening when they stretched the Crusaders on the flanks, using wingers Shaun Stevenson and Sean Wainui, keeping the ball in hand.

They closed to 12-10 with a try to flanker Lachlan Boshier.

The pair exchanged a further penalty apiece before the Crusaders gave themselves some breathing room with two quick tries to Sevu Reece and Leicester Fainga'anuku, putting the match beyond doubt. Reece picked up the ball after it appeared to have been knocked forward by backrower Quinten Strange and the referee awarded a pivotal try.

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