Chiefs Damian McKenzie loses the ball as he is tackled by Crusaders Scott Barrett during their Super Rugby semi-final.
Chiefs Damian McKenzie loses the ball as he is tackled by Crusaders Scott Barrett during their Super Rugby semi-final. Mark Baker

Clinical Crusaders heading for Lions' den

RUGBY UNION: Brilliant Crusaders defence and clinical offence has delivered the Christchurch-based side a place in next week's Super Rugby final where they will take on the Lions.

Despite being forced to defend for much of their semi-final and with barely one-third of possession, the Crusaders seized on every chance to beat the Chiefs 27-13 in Christchurch on Saturday.

Crusaders Bryn Hall dives across the line to score a try against the Chiefs during their Super Rugby semi in Christchurch.
Crusaders Bryn Hall dives across the line to score a try against the Chiefs during their Super Rugby semi in Christchurch. Mark Baker

Wing Seta Tamanivalu bagged two tries while halfback Bryn Hall and Test stalwart Israel Dagg also touched down.

The Crusaders were impressive, holding the territorially dominant Chiefs outfit to a single try - a late consolation to lock Brodie Retallick.

The Crusaders will now board a plane to make the 11,500km to Johannesburg for next weekend's final against the Lions.

Lions players celebrate a try during their Super Rugby semi-final win over the Hurricanes in Johannesburg.
Lions players celebrate a try during their Super Rugby semi-final win over the Hurricanes in Johannesburg. KIM LUDBROOK

The South African heavyweights sealed their place in the decider with a 44-29 win over defending champions the Hurricanes in Johannesburg.

The Wellington-based side looked comfortable as the ran out to a 22-3 lead but with half-time approaching, the Hurricanes conceded a try to Lions prop Jacques van Rooyen. That triggered the beginning of the end for the visitors who slowly fell apart in the second half.

Ross Cronje and Malcolm Marx bagged quick tries for the Lions before a yellow card to Hurricanes fly-half Beauden Barrett for failing to roll away from a ruck opened the floodgates.

The Lions, who finished first on the overall Super Rugby ladder despite avoiding Kiwi opposition all season, ran in three more tries to close out the match.


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