LIVE

    'Saders send Sharks packing

    2014-07-26 11:19
    Christchurch - The Crusaders juggernaut has hit top gear at the right time as they rumbled into the Super 15 finals with a 38-6 demolition of the Cell C Sharks on Saturday.

    As it happened: Crusaders v Sharks

    After a slow start to the season, in which the Crusaders lost their first two matches, the seven-times champions have put themselves in contention for their first title since 2008.

    They outscored the Bismarck du Plessis-led Sharks five tries to nil and continued a remarkable record of never having lost any of the 16 play-off matches they have hosted.

    Whether they will also have a home final next weekend depends on whether the Brumbies beat the Waratahs in the other semi-final later Saturday.

    If the Waratahs win, the final will be in Sydney.

    The talk before the match was whether the Crusaders would be able to match the feared Sharks forwards, but instead it was the Sharks who lost lineouts, scrums and eventually conceded a try from a lineout drive.

    "We knew that's where the game was going to be won or lost," Crusaders captain Kieran Read said.

    "We started really well and were able to put a lot of pressure on them. We played at a pretty high tempo early which probably set the scene."

    No South African side has ever won a play-off match in New Zealand and the Sharks never looked like changing that record, leaving Du Plessis distraught as not only was his pack pounded but the backs had a nightmare time from well directed kicks by Israel Dagg.

    "It was absolutely, extremely disappointing. Everything we worked on in the last two weeks -- we couldn't field the high balls, we didn't play in the right areas -- I'm extremely disappointed in our performance," he said.

    After Dan Carter put the Crusaders on the board with a second-minute penalty, Read scored the only try of the first half when the Crusaders pounced on a wayward clearing kick by Paul Jordaan.

    Nemani Nadolo ran the ball straight back at the Sharks and world player-of-the-year Read finished off the move when he swatted aside an attempted Jordaan tackle to score under the posts.

    Carter landed the conversion and two further penalties while Patrick Lambie landed two penalties for the Sharks to have the Crusaders ahead 16-6 at half-time.

    In the second half the Crusaders ran the heavier Sharks pack to a standstill as they produced a further four tries to Nemani Nadolo, Willi Heinz, Johnny McNicholl and Matt Todd.

    Heinz try came when the Crusaders demolished a Sharks' defensive scrum and Todd scored when the Crusaders used the Sharks ace move of a lineout drive.

    Scorers:

    Crusaders: 38 - Tries: Kieran Read, Nemani Nadolo, Willi Heinz, Johnny McNicholl, Matt Todd; Conversions: Dan Carter (2); Penalties: Carter (3)

    Sharks: 6 - Penalties: Patrick Lambie (2)



    Teams

    Crusaders

    15 Israel Dagg, 14 Kieron Fonotia, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Richie McCaw, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett

    Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Tom Taylor, 23 Johnny McNicholl

    Sharks

    15. SP Marais, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Frans Steyn, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Pat Lambie, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Willem Alberts, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1. Thomas du Toit

    Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Etienne Oosthuizen, 20. Tera Mtembu, 21. Charl McLeod, 22. S'bura Sithole, 23. Tonderai Chavhanga

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    253 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    /Sport

    Fixtures

    18 April 2015
    • Force v Stormers, nib Stadium 13:45
    • Sharks v Bulls, Growthpoint Kings Park 17:05
    • Cheetahs v Reds, Free State Stadium 19:10
    24 April 2015
    • Chiefs v Force, Waikato Stadium 09:35
    • Brumbies v Highlanders, GIO Stadium 11:55
    25 April 2015
    • Crusaders v Blues, AMI Stadium 09:35
    • Waratahs v Rebels, ANZ Stadium 11:55
    • Lions v Cheetahs, Emirates Airlines Park 17:05
    • Stormers v Bulls, Cape Town 19:10

    Results

    18 April 2015
    17 April 2015
    11 April 2015
    10 April 2015
    04 April 2015
    03 April 2015
    28 March 2015
    27 March 2015
    22 March 2015
    21 March 2015
    20 March 2015
    14 March 2015
    13 March 2015
    07 March 2015
    06 March 2015
    28 February 2015
    27 February 2015
    21 February 2015
    20 February 2015
    15 February 2015
    14 February 2015
    13 February 2015

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    The South African Conference is up for grabs after Round 9 of action. Who do you see finishing top when all is said and done?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.