O'Gara's Crusaders power into Super Rugby final

01 Août, 2018, 02:44 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Israel Folau is among a number of classy Waratahs backs who will face relentless pressure from the Lions defence

The eight-times champions will meet the winners of Saturday's second semi-final between South Africa's Lions and New South Wales Waratahs in next week's final in Christchurch, their 13th title-decider in 23 seasons of Super Rugby.

Things didn't go to script early for the Lions on Saturday as the Waratahs defied their underdog status to snatch a 14-0 lead after just 10 minutes on the back of 80 per cent possession to silence the home crowd. They were too good for us and we didn't get our game going and paid for it.

Shields was not trying to downplay the significance of the second semi-final between South Africa's Lions and the New South Wales Waratahs, the victor of which will host the August 4 final if the Hurricanes defeat the Crusaders.

The Lions have been offered a glimmer of hope from Waratahs captain Bernard Foley, who suggests they have a fighting chance to upset firm favourites the Crusaders in the Super Rugby final in Christchurch on Saturday.

The second half however was exceedingly.

But Courtall Skosan scored three minutes later off a cross-field kick from Elton Jantjies to wrap up victory for the Lions. Burst OverMarx claimed his first try of the afternoon in the 35th minute from a driving maul, but a trick routine at a lineout soon after allowed Robertson to burst over for the Waratahs as the two sides went into the interval level after a six-try first half.

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In a match billed as the final before the final, with the conference format putting the top two teams from the regular season this year on the same side of the playoff draw, the Crusaders struck early and never fell behind.

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

The Crusaders' success has been built around their pack shutting down the opposition's attacking options and flyhalf Richie Mo'unga directing the team around the field.

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

It gave Mo'unga, who finished with 15 points, the chance to outshine his more illustrious All Blacks opposite Beauden Barrett.

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