Crusaders blank Highlanders to book semi-final berth

Crusaders continued their excellent run this season
Crusaders continued their excellent run this season

Crusaders 17-0 Highlanders, AMI Stadium

Crusaders continued their good form into the knock-out stage as they went on to defeat Highlanders by 17-0 at AMI Stadium to reach the semi-final of the Super Rugby 2017 season.

Highlanders did not have an auspicious start to the game as they lost flanker Liam Squire temporarily when he was sin-binned in the fourth minute. Fly-half Richie Mo'unga capitalised on the opportunity as he slotted a penalty in the fifth minute to get the proceedings going for Crusaders.

As the game was highly competitive for the next 25 minutes with Crusaders holding on to their slender three point lead, Joe Moody in the 32nd minute provided advantage to the hosts with a touchdown and soon Codie Taylor also crossed over.

A double conversion from Mounga meant, Crusaders added 17 unanswered point at the end of the first half.

A superior ball retention and a strong defence allowed Crusaders to put off desperate tackling measures from Highlanders as both the teams failed to add any point in the second half, resulting in a 17 point victory for Crusaders as they advance to the semi-final.

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