WATCH: Richie Mo’unga dummy sends Freddie Burns into touch as Crusaders cruise past Highlanders

Crusaders fly-half Richie Mo'unga Credit: Alamy
Crusaders fly-half Richie Mo'unga Credit: Alamy

All Blacks fly-half Richie Mo’unga was in sparkling form as the Crusaders bounced back from last week’s loss to hammer the Highlanders 52-15 in Melbourne.

Off the back of a 31-10 defeat to the Chiefs, the Crusaders were determined to put in a statement performance and it showed as they crossed for seven tries.

Mo’unga had a big hand in their second try as he capitalised on a loose Freddie Burns kick and set off from his 22 on a typical Mo’unga-like counter attack.

Dummy bought by Burns

The New Zealand international saw grass in front of him before Burns came into shot, with a dummy kick leaving the Englishman all at sea as space opened.

Mo’unga then raced over halfway before offloading to scrum-half Mitchell Drummond who then found David Havili who sent Fergus Burke in for the finish.

That converted score had followed Sevu Reece’s opening effort on 13 minutes, this after Sam Gilbert had knocked the Highlanders into an early 3-0 advantage.

Gilbert’s points were as good as things got for the Dunedin outfit though, with the Crusaders going into the interval 24-3 up thanks to Joe Moody’s maul score.

The one-way traffic would continue after half-time when Mo’unga collected an intelligent chip kick over the top from Havili with only two minutes on the clock.

The centre would also get on the scoresheet soon after before Codie Taylor made it try number six for the Crusaders, with the Highlanders being toyed with.

50-point mark reached

Scott Robertson’s side weren’t done there though as Leicester Faingaanuku added his name to the growing try-scoring list as the Crusaders moved 52-3 ahead.

Thankfully for Highlanders fans their side did manage to stop the rot on 73 minutes when Josh Timu finished off Folau Fakatava’s nice kick into the right corner.

The grubber through would prove profitable again late on for the Highlanders as Timu grabbed his second after he collected Thomas Umaga-Jensen’s kick ahead.

But those late crossings were mere consolation efforts from the Highlanders as the Crusaders were comfortable winners in the opening game of the Super Round.

READ MORE: Five takeaways from the Crusaders v Highlanders clash

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