Crusaders vs Sharks: Super Rugby quarter-finals live scores, blog

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    Crusaders vs Sharks

    Super Rugby, 21 July, 2018

    AMI Stadium
    Fulltime - Crusaders 40, Sharks 10
    Crusaders   Sharks
    40 FINAL SCORE 10
    5 TRIES 1
    0 DROP GOALS 0
    Referee: Michael Fraser
    Touch judges: Ben O'Keeffe & Brendon Pickerill
    TMO: Shane McDermot

    The Crusaders go head to-head with the Sharks in Christchurch as the Super Rugby quarter-finals continue. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 5:35pm (AEST).

    If this was a boxing match, it arguably wouldn’t be allowed to take place, as the two teams are in very different divisions.

    In one corner, the reigning champions from Christchurch have home advantage, are on a winning streak of 12 matches, have not lost at home to a non-Kiwi team since Round 1, 2015, have a positive points difference of 247 this season – compared to the Sharks’ negative five – and no South African team has ever won a finals match in New Zealand.

    Meanwhile, in the other corner, the Sharks scraped into the finals thanks to points difference.

    However, as with all the best underdog stories, there is a glimmer of hope. The team from Durban might have only won seven games this season, but three of those were against the Blues, Highlanders and Chiefs. So they’ve defeated Kiwi opposition and two of those three sides have finished higher up the ladder than the Sharks themselves.

    They have some giant-killing experience for sure and have some gun playerss, including Robert du Preez, who is currently the leading points scorer in the competition, and fullback Curwin Bosch, who has racked up over 950 metres with the ball so far this season.

    But it’s in the pack where the away team need to stack up, so look for big performances from the whole tight five.

    The Sharks will give it everything and in knock-out rugby anything can happen. However, it’s the Crusaders, at home, against a side that have lost more games then they’ve won this year.

    Crusaders to win by 18 points.

    Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 5:25pm (AEST).

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    The Crowd Says (101)

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    • Roar Guru

      Oliver Matthews said | 8:07pm | ! Report

      Full Match Report
      The Crusaders have beaten the Sharks 40-10 and booked their place in another Super Rugby semi final.

      It might sound silly when you consider the Sharks lost by 30 points, but it really could have been a lot worse. After 12 minutes the Crusaders were already 13-0 ahead and it was looking like the scoreboard was going to be very busy.

      The ability of the Crusaders to so frequently turn a glimpse of an opportunity into points has seen them dominate the regular season and it looks like it’ll be no different in the finals. Their first two tries were almost carbon copies of each other. The Sharks lost their own line out in their own half, Ryan Crotty punched holes in the defence and then the quick support was there in the form of Hall and Havili to get over the line. What should have happened in both situations is that the Sharks won their line out and kicked to touch halfway down the field.

      This was the story of the game in many ways – the Sharks made too many errors and the Crusaders took advantage of the opportunities that they were presented more often than not.

      After the rapid start from the Crusaders, the Sharks began to fight their way back into the game and for 55 minutes they were able to restrict the Crusaders to scoring only one more try and they themselves picked up a try as well. However during this same period the Sharks were not able to turn large periods of possession and territory into anything else, but the Crusaders who didn’t have much of the ball for quite a while took the points when they were on offer with two other penalties.

      This ability of the Crusaders to not concede points even when they are not dominant and to keep the scoreboard ticking over even when they don’t have the ball much makes them a truly terrifying finals prospect.

      While the Sharks did make things hard for themselves – 7 handling errors and 5 lost line outs is never a good thing – they weren’t helped by a series of refereeing decisions that favoured the home side. Of course these decisions didn’t decide the game but they certainly don’t help when there are already plenty of conspiracies that Kiwi sides at home get a lot of favourable treatment.

      But the gap between the two sides was really highlighted in the final 20 minutes. The Crusaders turned nothing into something twice. Once from a nice move off the back of a scrum and the second was from a great tap and go by Matt Todd. In both instances the Sharks should have been able to defend the attacks but the skills and instinct of the home side were top notch and 14 more points were added to the scoreboard and the Sharks could start thinking about the off season.

      For the Crusaders there were a number of good performances – Ryan Crotty was a handful and he created the first two tries for the home side. Richie Mo’unga controlled the game well and Matt Todd was always in and around the action scoring a try, creating opportunity and earning penalties at the ruck. Kieran Reed continues his come back well and is adding good value while Sam Whitelock is getting better and better.

      The Sharks will look back at this season as both good and bad. It was a good achievement that they made the finals as it looked beyond them at points but they will be disappointed that they weren’t more of a dominant power as that would have earned them a far easier quarter final to have a go at.

      Did we learn anything new from this match? No not really. Were the Sharks able to provide some guidance to others on how to challenge the Crusaders? Not at all. Do the Crusaders look likely to retain their title? Oh yes.

      They face the Hurricanes next week and that will definitely be a harder game than today but you’d still have to say that the Crusaders have such a complete all round game that they should brush the Canes aside and head straight to the final in good shape.

    • 7:23pm
      Rugby Tragic said | 7:23pm | ! Report

      Congratulations Kia Kaha and Red and Black supporters… you have a great team and a great culture …

    • 7:21pm
      moa said | 7:21pm | ! Report

      Touching moment at the end there when the Crusaders squad form a guard of honour for Tendai.

    • Roar Guru

      Oliver Matthews said | 7:19pm | ! Report

      Full Time
      80‘ – The Crusaders have beaten the Sharks 40-10 in the second quarter final of the 2018 Super Rugby season in a clinical performance.

      The Sharks tried hard all night long and while they had lots of possession and territory they just didn’t have the ability to turn that into points on the board. The Crusaders on the other hand were able to take advantage of a number of small opportunities that the Sharks gave them and picked up points consistently throughout the match. That momentum was impossible to stop and having gone down 13-0 in the first 13 minutes the Sharks always had to chase and force things which they are just not good enough to do against a well organised side like the Crusaders.

      No one will be surprised by the result and attention will now shift to the first semi final where the Crusaders will go head to head with the Hurricanes.

      Full match report to come.

      Crusaders: 40
      Sharks: 10

    • Roar Guru

      Oliver Matthews said | 7:15pm | ! Report

      80‘ – Crusaders win the scrum and then kick the ball out as the final horn sounds and they are in the semi finals again!!

      Crusaders: 40
      Sharks: 10

    • Roar Guru

      Oliver Matthews said | 7:13pm | ! Report

      79‘ – Everything a bit scrappy here – loose loopy pass from Crusaders bobbles around and the Sharks have it back.

      They are 10m out from the Crusaders line but then lose it forward and we’ll have a scrum to the Crusaders.

      Crusaders: 40
      Sharks: 10

    • Roar Guru

      Oliver Matthews said | 7:12pm | ! Report

      77‘ – Nope! Crusaders get the ball back and kick to touch to clear.

      Sharks come again but are easily tackled into touch by the Crusaders who will have the line out about 35m from their own line.

      Crusaders: 40
      Sharks: 10

    • Roar Guru

      Oliver Matthews said | 7:11pm | ! Report

      76‘ – Sharks get another penalty and kick to touch so will have the line out just 6m out from the Crusaders line.

      Can the visitors end on a high?

      Crusaders: 40
      Sharks: 10

    • Roar Guru

      Oliver Matthews said | 7:10pm | ! Report

      75‘ – Nice half break and off load from Marius Louw and the Sharks have an advantage as they break into the Crusaders 22.

      Crusaders: 40
      Sharks: 10

    • Roar Guru

      Oliver Matthews said | 7:09pm | ! Report

      73‘ – Sharks face the final 7 minutes of their season and will want to fight to the end.

      The Crusaders are offside in defence so the Sharks can clear to touch – it’s a good kick and they have a line out just outside the home side’s 22.

      Crusaders: 40
      Sharks: 10

    • Roar Rookie

      lewismarsh said | 7:09pm | ! Report

      was that tap OK?

      • 7:13pm
        Cantab said | 7:13pm | ! Report

        yip, came off the boot so is fine.

        …..But I don’t think that’s what he was trying to do.

    • Roar Guru

      Oliver Matthews said | 7:08pm | ! Report

      73‘ – Richie Mo’unga gets another conversion and with 7 minutes to go this game is all over.

      Crusaders: 40
      Sharks: 10

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