Hat-trick helps Crusaders maintain pressure

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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.

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