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Crusaders roll over Rebels in Super Rugby

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/05/2017 Melissa Woods

The Melbourne Rebels have become the latest Super Rugby roadkill for the ladder-leading Crusaders, falling to a 41-19 defeat at AAMI Park.

Heaping more misery on the hapless Rebels, their Wallaby backrower Sean McMahon appeared to have broken his arm to end his hopes of playing in Australia's Test series next month.

McMahon was playing only his third game of the season after returning from injury but went down after making a tackle in the 73rd minute and was escorted from the field by medical staff.

With the last placed Rebels playing the unbeaten frontrunners, it was always going to be a matter of how big the margin.

To the Rebels credit, it wasn't as big as expected.

The loss meant it's now 20 matches - including this entire Super Rugby campaign - since an Australian team has beaten a team from New Zealand.

The Crusaders ran in six tries to three in an entertaining game, despite the dominance of the visitors.

Melbourne's Japanese international No.8 Amanaki Mafi was a stand-out performer, unfortunately they needed another 14 to follow his lead to match the might of their opponents.

The Crusaders led 31-7 at halftime, with Jed Brown scoring a double and the Rebels' league recruit Marika Koroibete crossing for the first of his two tries for the night.

The hosts started the second half on a positive note with prop Toby Smith burrowing across for a try but as was the case with each Melbourne try, the Crusaders replied within minutes.

Koroibete's second try came in the 58th minute after a burst downfield by Mafi, who finished with 149 run metres, almost double the next best of the Rebels.

The Rebels continued to toil hard but mistakes and missed tackles proved costly against the competition benchmark.

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