Crusaders rout Rebels to clinch top spot, Waratahs' play-off hopes all but over
Sevu Reece and Braydon Ennor plundered hat-tricks as the Crusaders pummelled the Rebels 66-0 in Christchurch to ensure they will finish the regular Super Rugby season in top spot.
The heavy defeat dealt a hefty blow to the Rebels' play-off hopes while underlining the Crusaders' status as standard bearers in the regular season.
Ennor ran in two of his tries before half-time, which the Crusaders reached with a 26-0 cushion before going into unforgiving overdrive and scoring at a point-a-minute rate after the interval.
Fellow wing Reece was rampant in the second 40 minutes, while David Havili finished with a brace and Bryn Hall and Ryan Crotty also went over, with lively fly-half Richie Mo'unga kicking seven conversions and Crotty one.
The Rebels remain in the running for a play-off place but face the Chiefs next Friday at AAMI Park in a crucial contest.
For the Waratahs, their hopes are all but over, with a 35-24 home defeat to the Brumbies badly damaging their already slim play-off prospects.
The Brumbies charged out to a 28-3 half-time lead and fended off a late Waratahs revival to tie up top spot in the Australian conference, the victors' tries coming from Rory Arnold, Andy Muirhead, Irae Simone, Folau Fainga'a and Tom Cusack.
Nick Phipps, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Curtis Rona grounded the ball for the Waratahs, who face a trip to tackle the Highlanders on Friday.