Super Rugby Pacific: Semi Finals

Crusaders 20 v Chiefs 7


Blues 20 v Brumbies 19


Just the two games in Super Rugby Pacific, but oh what epics they were. Both home teams put 20 points on the board in the first half, only to both go scoreless after halftime. Both kept their opponents to a converted try each. For the CRUSADERS that proved to be more than enough, While the BLUES scraped through by the skin of their chinny, chin chins.


In Christchurch on Friday night, the CHIEFS played doggedly from the outset knowing they had to contain the hosts early if they had any chance. A long stretch from about the ten-minute mark showed they were prepared to engage in trench warfare. Camping inside the Crusaders’ 22, the Waikato men pummeled the defensive lines only to be repelled by a team wracking up a record tackle count.


Some ten minutes after first encamping, a handling error allowed the hosts to get the ball down the other end and immediately put the Chiefs under pressure. Only a champion team can turn the tide of a game so comprehensively, so quickly. A converted try soon followed, with another one coming later in the half.


The second-half stalemate was a reflection of a broken Chiefs team that simply couldn’t find a way through the fortress on the Canterbury plain.


In the second game, the BRUMBIES had a very different second term. While their task looked as forlorn as that of the Chiefs at the break, the Canberrans came out of the sheds and produced a performance for the ages. The spirit shown in their fightback was perhaps the most heartwarming story of an Australian super rugby team since the Waratahs won the title in 2014.


A controversial decision by the referee not to award a penalty for a ruck infringement at the death has cast a pall over the game for many local fans, but for this humble scribe, I want people to revel in a performance that should be etched in our minds when Bledisloe rolls around in a few months.


The Blues v Crusaders final is the denouement of the inaugural season of SRP most have been expecting. There have, however, been some other great stories along the way. On this side of the ditch, attention now turns to the upcoming England tour. The Wallabies squad announced the other day has plenty of promise. One door closes, another opens.



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Grew up playing the rugby codes in suburban Sydney. Moved to Melbourne during the Carey era so becoming a Shinboner was the natural call. Still love the game they play in heaven. Took an interest in MLB a few years back and have become infatuated with America's pastime.

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