by Sports Benches

Gotta say that Dom Gardiner had an excellent evening in preventing the Reds from stealing the lead baton where not only he can attack with first-half TRY, but he can also help build a brick wall that can leave them frustrated too. He’s got so much mobility alongside a balance of his tall reach & physical strength. Plus, he’s a great team member too for the Crusaders, particularly when forming a great partnership with Scott Barrett on the second row at No.5 in place of Sam Whitelock. He’s got plenty of time to learn from these greats at age 21 before Dom can make a name for himself in many years to come both for the Crusaders & potentially the All Blacks at some point.

Next up is Leicester Fainga’anuku once again on the left wing where he always shows off his attacking masterclass that includes his first-half TRY off an inside pass from Richie Mo’unga. Plus, he can defend too through a great read to nail one of the Reds players down by holding them accountable. So there you go, he’s the man who wears the Crusaders shirt with so much heart while demonstrating exceptional talent at the same time. Let’s hope that the injury list right now doesn’t stop him from collecting more TRY-scoring moments & Crusaders wins going into the 2nd half of this Super Rugby season.

And there is another left winger to look out for but this time for the Queensland Reds in Jordan Petaia who has given the Crusaders a huge scare throughout the 2nd half. He might have been denied a TRY at one point that landed out into touch, but didn’t waste any time getting the job done where he ran well to stamp another Reds TRY thanks to a shortcut kick from Tate McDermott. Imagine if it’s Joseph Suaalii doing this v the Saders, as we will see more of him back to Union from the end of next year. Sadly, the Reds’ night have been full of messy attacking finishes & discipline. These weaknesses has left Petaia frustrated on what has been a missed opportunity on home turf.

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