Clinical Crusaders March On

Rugby Player scores try

The Crusaders produced a tactical masterclass in brushing aside the Hurricanes 30-12 in Saturday’s Super Rugby semifinal at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch. 

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The defending champions were on a 13-game winning run dating back to mid-March, which included their 40-10 thumping of the Sharks in last week’s quarterfinal.

The Canes had dispatched the Chiefs 32-31 in their last-eight encounter as they looked to beat the Saders for a second time this season.

The result ensured Scott Robertson’s men will host a final next week against either the Lions or the Waratahs.

The Crusaders utterly dominated the contest. Their physicality and match-awareness proved far too much for a talented Hurricanes unit, who were made to look decidedly ordinary on the day.
Richie Mo’unga, who was superb all evening, sniped through a gap to open the account for the hosts before Julian Savea hit back with a try in the corner.

Having been unsuccessful with a first shot at goal, Jordie Barrett made no mistake with his second to draw the sides level.

The Hurricanes struggled to retain any meaningful possession and were forced into making as many as 42 tackles in the first quarter to the Crusaders’ 17.

Their frustration told when they were penalised for a dangerous tackle following a Saders break in the midfield. Sam Whitelock opted to back his driving maul rather than take a shot at goal, and his decision was vindicated when George Bridge dived over for his side’s second.

The Hurricanes were scrambling, with their scrum dominance and watertight phase play giving Mo’unga the chance to add two penalties to his side’s tally as the Cantabrian's headed for the shed 18-7 to the good.

The Wellingtonian's simply had no answer to the intensity and accuracy of the Crusaders defence, with fly-half-ace Beauden Barrett seemingly lacking in the ideas department.

David Havili and Braydon Ennor added to the tally in the second-half, with Ben Lam managing a consolation try in injury-time.

The result, though, was never in doubt as the Crusaders marched into a second successive final.

Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Braydon Ennor

Hurricanes: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Jordie Barrett, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Gareth Evans, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith
Replacements: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Wes Goosen

Scores:
Crusaders
Tries: Mo’unga, Bridge, Havili, Ennor
Cons: Mo’unga (2)
Pens: Mo’unga (2)

Hurricanes
Tries: Savea, Lam
Cons: Barrett


Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets

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