Comeback kings Crusaders and Chiefs stay perfect


Crusaders enhanced their reputation as Super Rugby's comeback kings and maintained their 100 per cent record in 2017 with a 33-24 victory over Blues on Friday.

In their previous two games, Crusaders had overturned a 27-6 deficit to beat Highlanders before coming from 17-0 down to triumph against Queensland Reds.

And a familiar theme was repeated in Christchurch as the hosts triumphed despite having trailed 24-5 with half an hour to play.

George Moala scored two of Blues' three first-half tries, with Manasa Mataele's score the only response for Crusaders.

When Piers Francis added a 48th-minute penalty to his trio of conversions, Blues were in command, but Peter Samu, Ben Funnell and Mitch Hunt all went over in a superb fightback.

Mitchell Drummond then added a fifth Crusaders touchdown in the last minute to rub salt in the visitors' wounds.

"It'd be quite nice if we started before half-time, but a win's a win," said Crusaders skipper Sam Whitelock.

Marika Koroibete scored his first Super Rugby try in Friday's other match, but it was not enough to prevent Melbourne Rebels suffering a 27-14 defeat to Chiefs, who are also unbeaten and top the New Zealand Conference.

The eventual margin of victory flattered Chiefs, who trailed for much of the second half before late tries from Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane and Shaun Stevenson sealed victory.