Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
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Crusaders show few weaknesses in semi-final win over Hurricanes

Crusaders show few weaknesses in semi-final win over Hurricanes

O'Gara, who left Racing 92 for the Crusaders, penned a contract extension in June that ties him to the club until the end of the 2019 Super Rugby campaign.

Defending champions the Crusaders charged into their 13th Super Rugby final with a comprehensive 30-12 victory over the Hurricanes in Christchurch on Saturday.

Fly-half Mo'unga gave another demonstration of his ingenuity, pulling the strings and scoring 15 points - including the first of four Crusaders tries - as his side stretched their unbeaten home play-off record to 20 matches.

If the Crusaders have a similar all-round performance against their opponents in the final, they will fancy themselves for a ninth Super Rugby title.

Glen Jackson will be the man in the middle for the match in Johannesburg between the Lions and the 2014 champions from Sydney.

"It is a massive opportunity for us", said the back-row forward who was injured and missed late-season losses away to the Hurricanes and at home against the Crusaders because of injuries.

After a tense opening 15 minutes to the second half, flyhalf Elton Jantjies slotted a penalty goal to put the Lions in front to start a matchwinning 10-minute period. Jantjies kicked a long-range penalty to stretch the lead to 37-19 before substitute Gordon got the Waratahs' first points of the second half with time nearly up.

The Lions will play in the final for a third successive year, but must travel to New Zealand to meet the Canterbury Crusaders in Christchurch in the decisive encounter next Saturday.

Braydon Ennor then crossed the whitewash in the 68 minute in what would be the final score for the Crusaders in the match.


That made it imperative the Hurricanes score first in the second half.

"There doesn't seem to be a lot of need to ask them to play the final - as, barring some kind of impossible to foresee disaster, they are going to win it.no other side in the competition gets remotely close".

Center Jack Goodhue made a long run back into the Hurricanes 22 and linked quickly with All Black captain Kieran Read who drove the ball towards the line.

Captain Sam Whitelock said the Crusaders fed off the direction given by Mo'unga and a passionate defence.

"Richie's done it all year".

Hurricanes skipper Brad Shields, playing his last game before heading to England, said the turnover proved costly.

Mo'unga showed his class again to get his head up and set up Ennor for Crusaders' fourth five-pointer with a sublime cross-field kick.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said before the match that the result would be determined by the forwards and that's how it turned out with the Crusaders turning on a merciless display.

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