Rugby-Crusaders down Reds 28-15 in Christchurch


(Reuters) - The Canterbury Crusaders eased to a 28-15 win over the Queensland Reds in Christchurch on Friday to lock down second spot in Super Rugby and book a home playoff with the same team.

Fergus Burke, Will Jordan, Brodie McAlister and Tom Christie scored the tries for the Crusaders who will host the seventh-placed Reds for a second successive week in the quarter-finals.

The Crusaders were some way off their machine-like best but shot out to an early 14-0 lead with a two-try burst in four minutes.

Flyhalf Burke was first to cross after the Reds botched a scrum deep in defence, with returned fullback Will Jordan touching down in the 14th minute after a turnover in midfield.

The Reds stemmed the bleeding for about 20 minutes and clawed back three points, with Lawson Creighton knocking over a penalty.

But the Crusaders went to halftime with a commanding 21-3 lead after hooker McAlister rumbled over from a rolling maul for the their third try three minutes before the break.

With Crusaders loose forward Pablo Matera yellow-carded after the break for a lifting tackle, the Reds rallied through a try from Richie Asiata in the 57th minute.

But Christie sealed the win with the Crusaders' fourth try 15 minutes later before the Reds' Harry Wilson grabbed a consolation try a few minutes from the siren.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Toby Davis)

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