The Canterbury Crusaders maintained their Super Rugby challenge with a dominant display over the Queensland Reds on Friday, fuelled by a hat-trick from winger Jone Macilai-Tori.
The seven-time champions prevailed 38-5 in a six-try-to-one bonus-point display for their eighth straight win in the southern hemisphere competition.
Try-machine Waisake Naholo’s suspension proved no hinderance as another Fijian winger, Macilai-Tori, stepped up with a three-try effort.
He had two in the first eight minutes and Crusaders skipper Kieran Read said it set up the win.
“It certainly does help when you have a start like that,” he said.
The result was the Crusaders fifth straight victory over the Reds since the Queenslanders defeated them in the Super Rugby final in 2011.
Macilai-Tori scored his first try from an overlap after four minutes, then latched onto the end of a slick assist from the base of a scrum for his second.
Scott Barrett crossed for the Crusaders third after pressure from a lineout drive in the 33rd minute to make it 21-0 after the conversion.
Macilai-Tori then completed his hat-trick just after the restart, running onto free space into the corner for his third.
He had another disallowed for a double movement but Jordan Taufua and Codie Taylor completed the rout.