Crusaders back to winning form

Macca Springer of Crusaders scores his team's first try whilst under pressure from Noah Heward of...
Macca Springer of Crusaders scores his team's first try whilst under pressure from Noah Heward of Bristol Bears. Photo: Getty Images
The Crusaders have bounced back from their loss to Munster with a come from behind win against the Bristol Bears in a preseason match.

Macca Springer and Levi Aumua both bagged doubles as the Super Rugby Pacific champions prevailed 31-14 at Ashton Gate in the United Kingdom. 

Locked up at 7-all at halftime, the Crusaders pulled away in the second, showing too much class for the Premiership side on Friday. 

It took almost 30 minutes for the first points, with the hosts striking from a solid lineout drive.

An unmarked Springer responded for the Crusaders who showed slick hands to send the young Mako away.

A pinpoint cross from Chay Fihaki set Springer up for a second, though he still had to evade two tacklers on his way to the line.

The Bears brought things back to all square, but back to back Aumua tries clicked the Crusaders into high gear, with Hotham sealing the win in the 77th.

Blues outclass Eagles

In Japan, the Blues put on a showcase against the Eagles, running in nine tries on a superb attacking display.

All Black winger Caleb Clarke bagged a hat-trick in the 57-22 rout in Yokohama on Saturday. 

The Auckland-based side drew first blood through Clarke, with Stephen Perofeta scoring a second on the back of a Eagles error.

The Kiwis ran riot early, Corey Evans finishing off a scintillating move before Clarke stole the show.

A Stephen Perofeta cross appeared to have too much on it but Clarke showed incredible acrobatics to touch the ball inside the sideline.

Clarke crossed for a third shortly after, again proving to elusive for the Eagles defence as he weaved his way to the line.

Josh Beehre picked up his second of the day followed by another stunning movement capped off by Sam Nock as the Blues cracked fifty.

Chiefs edge Kubota Spears

The Chiefs came through a hard-fought contest to beat the Kubota Spears 35-30 in Japan. 

The Waikato side ran in five tries to four on Saturday, rebounding from last weekend's outing.

The Chiefs return to Hamilton to prepare for their final pre-season match against the Blues in Auckland next Friday.



Crusaders 31
Springer 2, Aumua 2, Hotham tries, Reihana 2, Kemara cons)

Bears 14
(Davies, Kieran Marmion tries, MacGinty 2 cons)

Blues 50
(Clarke 3, Beehre 2, Perofeta, Evans, Nock tries, Perofeta 3, Cashmore 2 cons)

Eagles 12
(Takayawa, Laulala, tries, Tamura con)

Chiefs 35
(Tuhakaraina, Proffit, Ratima, Slater, Burr tries; Jacomb 4 cons, Ioane con)

Kubota Spears 30
(Yamasaki 2, Saita, Nezuka tries: Vailea con, 2 pens, Shimada con)