Crusaders beat spirited Moana Pasifika after trailing at half-time

The Crusaders beat a spirited Moana Pasifika 38-21 at Christchurch's OrangeTheory Stadium after trailing the visitors at half-time.

The All Blacks first-five Richie Mo'unga played a big hand in his 100th match for the Crusaders by converting all five of his side's tries and nailing a penalty.

Moana Pasifika scored three tries to the Crusaders two in the first half to take a 21-17 lead at half time.

Codie Taylor crossed the line twice for the home side, while Levi Aumua also scored a double in the first 40 minutes for Moana Pasifika.

Then winger Timoci Tavatavanawai scored a try for the visitors just before half time and Moana Pasifika must have felt confident they could pull off a massive upset over the defending champions.

But after the main break Dom Gardiner scored a try in the 51st minute to give the Crusaders the lead.

Ten minutes later Dallas McLeod did the same to stretch the lead out to 10.

Willie Heinz then scored the Crusaders fifth try just before full time.