Super Rugby

Crusaders embarrass woeful Bulls in Pretoria

Cape Town - The Bulls were given a clear reminder of how far they have fallen when they were smashed 62-24 by the Crusaders at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday night. 

The Super Rugby champions of 2007, 2009 and 2010 were completely out of their depth against the undefeated New Zealanders as they conceded a total of 10 tries in front of their home fans, scoring just three. 

It was a performance that will place further pressure on coach Nollis Marais, who looked on as his side puzzled on attack and under-performed on defence as they had no answer to the clinical execution of this Crusaders side. 

The Bulls, with Tian Schoeman at the helm, lacked any direction or structure with ball-in-hand as they threw passes in hope and kicked aimlessly. 

On defence, if they weren't slipping tackles, they were scrambling to stop Crusaders counter attacks after giving up possession countless times through an inability to look after the ball. 

Again, it was not the commitment of the players that could be questioned but rather their seeming lack of a clear plan. 

Few of these Bulls players looked to be on the same page, with players running their own lines and with confusion reigning on attack. 

By half-time, the Bulls had shipped five tries and were 31-3 down. 

Peter Samu, Tim Bateman, Scott Barrett, Jack Goodhue and Seta Tamanivalu scored those first half tries with the Bulls having been bossed in all departments. 

They would have regrouped at half-time and looked to pull together for an improved second half performance, even if a win was already out of the question. 

Instead, things got worse. 

The Crusaders brought up their 50 after just 10 second half minutes as David Kaetau Havili, Richie Mo'unga and Goodhue all scored. 

At that stage, it looked like the Crusaders could go on to card a century. 

The Bulls finally had a try of their own when Jesse Kriel burst over the line as Loftus had a rare moment to celebrate. 

Replacement prop Andrew Makalio then scored the Crusaders' ninth when, once again, the Bulls defence was all at sea as the visitors broke through the gain line all to easily. 

A neat pass from Jan Serfontein then allowed Jamba Ulengo in for the Bulls' second, but the 'Saders had their 10th when they pounced on another loose ball that came from a failed Bulls attack - Mitch Hunt strolling through to the try line. 

With the Crusaders piling everyone forward on attack, the Bulls were able to counter for their third through Jan Serfontein, but the celebrations by that stage were hollow. 

In the end, the Bulls had missed well over 30 tackles - a statistic that summed up one of the darkest days in Loftus history. 

The Bulls host the Highlanders next week while the Crusaders return home to host the Hurricanes. 

Scorers:

Bulls 24 (3)

Tries: Jesse Kriel, Jamba Ulengo, Jan Serfontein

Conversions: Francois Brummer (3)

Penalty: Tian Schoeman

Crusaders 62 (31)

Tries: Peter Samu, Tim Bateman, Scott Barrett, Jack Goodhue (2), Seta Tamanivalu, David Kaetau Havili, Andrew Makalio, Mitch Hunt

Conversions: Richie Mo'unga (5)

Teams:

Bulls

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Nick de Jager, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Pierre Schoeman

Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Jannes Kirsten, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Jan Serfontein

Crusaders

15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Pete Samu, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett 

Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Ryan Crotty

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