Chiefs vs Crusaders: Super Rugby Semi-Final live scores
Chiefs Arizona Taumalolo punches the air. AAP Image/SNPA, Ross Setford
Scores updated each minute. REFRESH NOW
The Chiefs Vs. The Crusaders
2012 Super Rugby Tournament, 28 July, 2012
|Waikato Stadium, Hamilton|
|The Chiefs 20 defeated The Crusaders 17|
|The Chiefs||The Crusaders|
|Referee: C Joubert|
|Touch judges: JI Kaplan & K Brown|
The much-improved Chiefs tackle perennial Super Rugby superpowers the Crusaders in Hamilton this afternoon for a place in the final. Join us for this all-New Zealand semi-final at 5.35pm EST.
Sonny Bill Williams faces his old team in what could be last game of Super Rugby for some time.
This battle at Waikato Stadium will be a beauty – a match that may not only decide the eventual Super Rugby champions but also several All Blacks spots for the Rugby Championship.
The Chiefs and the Crusaders, who challenge for the title every year, have already played each other twice this year in two epic clashes.
The Chiefs got the cash by five points in the first encounter, but the Crusaders hit back with a seven-point win in July.
Both games were very tight, fast and furious affairs that went down to the final minutes. There’s a very good chance it will be the same tonight.
Waikato’s Chiefs, for many years the also-rans of the Kiwi Super Rugby sides, have had a fantastic season under Dave Rennie, finishing second. Assistant Wayne Smith has undoubtedly had a big impact.
They have unearthed some genuine talent in the form of Brodie Retallick, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Robbie Robinson and Sam Cane.
But they will face their biggest challenge of the year in the form of the powerhouse Canterbury side. The Crusaders have won seven Super Rugby titles, more than any other, and have big-match experience across the park.
Expect the likes of Dan Carter, Richie McCaw and Andy Ellis to lead from the front.
The Crusaders will head into this one as favourites, considering their experience and their playing squad, and they seem to coming into some strong late season form.
They also have history on their side – the Chiefs have lost their last three homes matches to the Crusaders. However, the Chiefs will be pumped to cause an upset. They are a young team with a point to prove and All Blacks selections on the line.
For the Crusaders Ben Franks comes into the starting team and his brother Owen is on the bench. They will also be missing Kieran Read, which is a big loss, and the match-ups between Carter and Aaron Cruden at 10 and Ellis and Kerr-Barlow at 9 will be crucial to the outcome of the game.
The Chiefs have brought back try-scoring machine Sona Taumalolo back to the front row, while Kane Thompson returns from injury and Tanerau Latimer replaces Sam Cane as the openside flanker.
It promises to be a huge clash in New Zealand. We’ll bring you live scores from 5:35pm AEST.
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