Before the snowballing of cards even started the Crusaders stamped their authority to eventually score eight tries to the Sharks dismal one, who enjoyed one of their worst defensive days.
A sign of how the game died a slow death was that no points was scored between the 54th and the 79th minutes when replacement back Tom Taylor scored the final try and also converted himself.
Crusaders flyhalf Colin Slade, who scored one of the tries, also helped himself to five conversions, missing two, for a personal tally of 15 points.
A succession of four cards in the space of five minutes before halftime marred the game but couldn’t deny the Crusaders’ supremacy as they ran riot in the opening period leading 28-3 at the break.
First prop Nepo Laulala was carded in the 36th minute, then he was followed by centre Kieron Fonotia two minutes later, while wing Nemia Nadolo joined them a minute later.
Laulala performed a shoulder charge on Sharks fullback SP Marais, Fonotia excercised a forearm charge on Sharks flank Jean Deysel’s neck area, while Nadolo was to perform a professional foul.
Deysel was shown a red card on the stroke of halftime for stomping with his knee on the neck area of a Crusaders player which confined the Crusaders to just 12 men and the Sharks to 14, but for the rest of the game.
But even with just 12 men the Crusaders scored more even tries in the 44th minute by flyhalf Colin Slade and by replacement back David Havili in the 46th to open up a massive 40-3 lead.
Five minutes later the Crusaders flank Matt Todd scored the seventh for a runaway 45-3 lead before wing Odwa Ndungane mercifully scored the Sharks’ first to trail 10-45 by the 54th minute.
Earlier before the card circus was started by referee Stuart Berry however the Crusaders ran circles around the Sharks with tries by scrumhalf Andy Ellis and fullback Israel Dagg to take a lead of 14-0 by only the fifth minute.
Sharks captain Pat Lambie scored his team’s only first half points with a penalty in the 17th minute, missing with his first in the ninth, to trail 3-14 before the Crusaders striked again.
Their third try by Fonotia in the 22nd minute was followed by the bonuspoint try by centre partner Ryan Crotty in the 35th to open up the 28-3 halftime lead.