Super Rugby: Crusaders secure bonus point in first half against Kings
George Whitelock grabbed a hat-trick of tries as the Crusaders dismantled the Southern Kings 55-20 in Christchurch.
Last Updated: 23/03/13 12:11pm
Fly-half Dan Carter kicked five conversions and two penalties before being replaced after 50 minutes, by which time the game was well and truly over as a contest.
The Kings battled bravely but the damage was done in the opening half hour when their line was breached on four occasions.
Demetri Catrakilis did put the visitors ahead with a first-minute penalty, only for their hosts to respond with Whitelock's first try of the night.
Wyatt Crockett crashed over from close range to help make it 17-3. The Kings responded with a rare break that led to a penalty being kicked, though it only offered brief respite.
A rolling maul allowed Whitelock to get over again and scrum-half Willie Heinz sealed the bonus point well before half time after their opponents were penalised for accidental offside inside their own 22.
The Kings applied a period of sustained pressure on the hosts as the first half drew to a close, hitting back with a first ever try in New Zealand from Wimpie van der Walt.
Carter added the first points of the second half with a penalty, before the Crusaders pack continued to show their dominance, Matt Todd pouncing off the back of another maul.
Replacement Luke Whitelock fended off Jaco Engels to become the latest try-scorer, fellow sub Tyler Bleyendaal converting.
The hat-trick for brother George arrived in the 77th minute, though there seemed to be some debate over whether he was initially held up before rolling over to ground the ball.
Bleyendaal again added the extras but the Crusaders' match was somewhat ruined by the sight of Kieran Read limping off in the closing stages, not something they needed to see ahead of their trip to South Africa.
The Kings rounded out the scoring with a length-of-the-field move that was started and finished by George Whitehead, the full-back also adding the easy conversion from in front of the posts.