Crusaders crush Fijian Drua

The Crusaders' ruthless win over the Fijian Drua strengthens their hold on second place in Super Rugby Pacific.


The 61-3 win in Christchurch on Friday went as forecast, with the home side's nine unanswered tries against the newcomers giving the Crusaders a handy margin boost as they fight with the Brumbies for second spot on the competition ladder heading into the playoffs.

The Drua managed to link phases together with relative comfort, but couldn't make inroads against the well-drilled host's defence.

And their turnovers were punished, the Crusaders cruising with four first-half tries including a competition-high 10th for Leicester Fainga'anuku in the second minute.

Flanker Tom Christie and Fijian-born All Blacks star Sevu Reece bagged doubles while Fergus Burke, at first five-eighth in place of the rested Richie Mo'unga, scored a try and kicked all but one conversion.

Meanwhile, the Queensland Reds have snapped a four-game losing streak with a 34-22 win over Moana Pasifika in Brisbane.

Queensland scored five tries to three in a strong display, with Jock Campbell crossing for a double as James O'Connor celebrated his 50th Queensland Super Rugby cap.

Moana Pasifika opened the scoring with a Solomone Funaki try, but Queensland hit back quickly through Campbell.

Fraser McReight soon gave Queensland their first lead of the night after Josh Flook pounced on a deep McDermott kick and linked with the chasing backrower. O'Connor slotted the conversion to give Queensland a 12-7 lead at the 14-minute mark.

The visitors were reduced to 14-men in the 18th minute after Henry Time-Stowers was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle.

Harry Hoopert was next to score for Queensland, the loosehead prop burrowing his way through the defence from close range to score his first try since 2020.

A Christian Leali'ifano penalty cut Moana Pasifika's deficit to 19-10, before Campbell was back in the action to score his fifth try in the past three weeks to stretch Queensland's lead to 24-10 at the break.

Moana Pasifika backrower Sione Tu'ipulotu had the first try of the second stanza, with an O'Connor penalty bringing the score to 27-15 in the 49th minute, before Fraser McReight was yellow carded in the 57th minute.

With 15-men back on the field, Harry Wilson snatched an intercept and raced away to score his side's fifth and final try.