The Crusaders moved top of the New Zealand Conference after claiming a 40-14 bonus-point win over the Jaguares at Estadio José Amalfitani.

Crossings from George Bridge (2), Manasa Mataele (2), Mitchell Hunt and Ryan Crotty moves the visitors above the Hurricanes by one point.

In reply the Jaguares' tries came via Joaquin Tuculet and Emiliano Boffelli as they suffer a fifth loss from their opening seven fixtures.

The Crusaders were clinical in the first 40 minutes and went into the break 19-0 in front, thanks to a Bridge double and one from Mataele.

It took them just eight minutes to open their account as following a Crotty break, the ball was dislodged and regathered by the away side. From the recycled possession, scrum-half Bryn Hall fired a pass to the short side where Bridge was on hand to finish an unconverted score.

Unfortunately for the hosts the lead grew to 12 points seven minutes later as a loose pass was collected by Bridge who raced 60 metres to grab his second. This time there was no missing the conversion as fly-half Hunt knocked it over to leave the Crusaders in a good position.


Discipline has long been an issue for the Jaguares so when Tomas Lavanini tackled David Havili with no arms, Mario Ledesma must have been livid. And from the resulting line-out an impressive set-piece move saw Codie Taylor wrap around and pop to wing Mataele who crashed over.

The half could have been even worse for the home outfit had Taylor not knocked on three minutes before the interval, denying Crotty a try.

Of course the first score of the second period was going to be crucial so when Tuculet crossed with purpose on 44 minutes, it was game on.

The tries would come at both ends though as next Mataele's break down the right wing six minutes later led to him offloading superbly to Hunt for a run-in. That made it a 26-7 lead to the Crusaders before Jeronimo de la Fuente put Boffelli over for an almost immediate reply.

At 12 points adrift going over the hour mark and with a spell of sustained scrum dominance in the Crusaders 22, the Jaguares were looking like reducing the arrears. However replacements Ben Funnell and Donald Brighouse helped turn things around and with the hosts then on the back foot in their own 22, the clearing kick was charged down by Crotty who then regathered and grounded in the left corner for the score.

The Crusaders made sure of the win on 69 minutes when Mataele raced over for his second, giving them a handsome victory in Buenos Aires.

The scorers:

For Jaguares:

Tries: Tuculet, Boffelli

Cons: Sanchez 2

For Crusaders:

Tries: Bridge 2, Mataele 2, Hunt, Crotty

Cons: Hunt 4, Delany

Jaguares: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera (c), 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Santiago Garcia Botta

Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Felipe Arregui, 18 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Ramiro Moyano

Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Luke Romano, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tim Perry

Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Donald Brighouse, 18 Chris King, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mike Delany, 23 Braydon Ennor

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)

Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Pablo Deluca (Argentina)

Television match official: Santiago Borsani (Argentina)