The Christchurch-based Crusaders scored four tries before halftime Sunday on their way to a crushing 40-14, bonus point win over the ACT Brumbies in Super Rugby.
The seven-time champions defended superbly and capitalized on every opportunity to post their sixth-straight win over the Brumbies and their highest-ever score in Canberra.
All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor scored a try in each half and other tries went to wingers Nemani Nadolo and Jone Macilai-Tori, fullback Israel Dagg and replacement flyhalf Marty McKenzie.
The Crusaders led 26-7 at half time and added two more tries to earn a bonus point by six tries to two. That lifted them within a point of the Hamilton-based Chiefs at the top of the championship table at the end of the weekend's ninth round.