The Crusaders snapped a two-game Super Rugby losing streak with a 33-14 bonus point win over the Bulls in Christchurch on Friday.
The Crusaders scored five tries to two, including a brace for Jack Goodhue, making the most of wet conditions in a match that featured plenty of turnovers and handling errors.
The Crusaders, coming off their first back-to-back losses in five years, welcomed back skipper Sam Whitelock and Ryan Crotty from injury.
“The conditions made the rugby pretty tight but we adapted as the game went on … at times (though) the skills were great,” Whitelock said.
It was the fourth loss in a row for the Bulls, who face a tough South African derby at home against Western Stormers next week.
It also means the Crusaders have not lost to the Bulls in Christchurch since 1996, a sequence that now extends to 11 consecutive home wins.
“It’s been a difficult tour for us and there’s a lot to work on when we go back home,” Bulls captain Burger Odendaal said.
“But the boys can keep their heads up. I think we showed some great talent and just have to finish that off.”
The Crusaders put themselves on the defensive by conceding four early penalties but the Bulls remained scoreless after repeatedly opting to run the ball rather than take three points.
Tries: Bridge, Goodhue 2, Taylor, Barrett
Cons: Hunt 4
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Tries: van Staden, Ismaiel
Cons: Pollard 2