Live updates: Super Rugby semi-final - Crusaders vs Hurricanes

FULLTIME: CRUSADERS 30 - 12 HURRICANES 

80mins: HURRICANES TRY - LAM: Whitelock wins the lineout for the Crusaders. They're quite happy to play the clock it, keeping it tight. They concede the penalty however. Hurricanes go quickly, they fire it to Lam, he brushes off two tackles down the left wing and scores the try. His 16th of the season. Shields hits the post in his conversion and that's fulltime!

78mins: Tamanivalu's penalised for deliberately knocking the ball down in his attempted intercept. Hurricanes win the lineout and look to drive but Todd pounces on it, wraps up the ball-carrier and forces the turnover.

76mins: Crusaders marching the Hurricanes pack backwards at the scrum, Drummond finds Bridge but he loses it backwards and is tackled right on his line. Ball eventually comes for Hunt and he clears.

74mins: Ball comes for Booth, he links up with Laumape and he tries to smash his way over the top but loses it contact. Just not been his or the Hurricanes night. Hunt and Goodhue combined well to make the tackle and force the error.

72mins: Hurricanes contining to plug their up the middle. They're up to the Crusaders 22m, Beauden Barrett gets it, shows good feet, steps out of one tackle, steps out of another, rides the tackle of Drummond, reaches for the line but he's JUST short. It'll be a Hurricanes scrum.

70mins: CRUSADERS TRY - ENNOR: The Crusaders have numbers out wide, Todd decides to put the head down and have a crack but he's well tackled. Mo'unga spots Ennor all by himself on the other wing, puts the cross-field kick up and he gathers it in on the bounce to dot down for the try.

68mins: Savea puts the head down and runs right into Read. Goosen has a crack but Goodhue's right up over him at the ruck and wins the turnover as the Crusaders march into the Hurricanes 22m.

66mins: Lam's in space down the left wing, defenders closing in so he puts the kick through but the ball bounces kindly for Bridge to clean up before Havili clears. Just all going the Crusaders way.

64mins: Crusaders maul driving the Hurricanes backwards but they hold on too long and turn it over as it goes to deck.

62mins: Hurricanes struggling to penetrate the Crusaders defence. They're near the 22m, Drummond gets right up over the ball at the breakdown and forces the penalty. The defending champs just on another level tonight.

60mins: Hurricanes go short with the lineout as Perenara and Riccitelli combine nicely down the right wing. Savea's caught behind the gain line and Goodhue rips the ball away before Drummond clears.

57mins: Savea charges onto it and makes a nice run up the middle, beating a couple of Crusaders players. Jordie makes a nice run and Crotty does enough to free the ball up at the ruck and the Crusaders clear.

55mins: Both teams ringing the changes now. Beauden goes long with the 22m drop out and the Crusaders take it comfortably. Hurricanes defence fronting on this occassion, forcing the hosts backwards. Evans counter-rucks and wins the turnover.

53mins: Crusaders fly up in defence to disrupt the Hurricanes out wide, and Jordie knocks on trying to free up Savea on the right wing with a quick tap on.

51mins: Hall puts the box kick up, Barret does well to take it in under pressure from Tamanivalu. Perenara fires it down field but Mo'unga's got it covered. Tamanivalu gets it on the right wing, puts the grubber kick through but it goes straight into touch.

49mins: Crusaders show some trickery from the lineout win and Tamanivalu charges his way towards the five-metre line. Crusaders slowing it down now, looking to go up the middle by force but Taylor's penalised at the breakdown.

47mins: Crusaders do well to disrupt the Hurricanes play of the ball and force the knock on. The front-row follow suit and pile the pressure on once again at the scrum and win the penalty.

45mins: CRUSADERS TRY - HAVILI: Mo'unga holds the ball before firing a long ball to Goodhue, he's in acres of space, shows great strength to beat the tackle, finds Read and he's tackled just a few metres out. They go quickly and Havili charges onto the pass and he's over for the try!

43mins: Smith puts the shoulder down and bumps off Whitelock! Hurricanes up to the 22m, but Riccitelli's pass to Milner-Skudder is too far ahead of him and he knocks on.

41mins: We're back underway and it's Barrett once again who gets up to take in the kick-off. Hall puts the box kick up, not much distance on it and Perenara takes it nicely.

HALFTIME: CRUSADERS 18 - 7 HURRICANES 

40mins: Crusaders happy to slow it down before the break, driving their way out of their own 22m but the maul comes down and the Hurricanes will have the scrum. The Barrett's combine well before it eventually goes to Lam. Todd does brilliantly to steal the ball and Mo'unga kicks it into touch for halftime.

38mins: Barrett takes in another kick-off and this Hall takes it upon himself to clear, puts the box kick up and Bridge does brilliantly to get under it and win the ball. Mo'unga sets off on a run, steps a couple before Tamanivalu makes a strong carry. Riccitelli concedes the penalty for offside and Mo'unga adds another three.

35mins: Crusaders absolutely demolish the Hurricanes scrum and are awarded the penalty. Mo'unga lines up the easy shot goal and sends it through to extend the Crusaders lead.

33mins: Read goes right from the scrum, gives it to Tamanivalu and he's well tackled. Crusaders up to the 22m, Mo'unga tries a short ball but it's forward and we'll have a Hurricanes scrum.

31mins: Beaudie tries the bomb but it's too far and Mo'unga claims the mark before failing to find touch. Jordie spots space, tries to monster it down field but he's got far too much on it and it rolls dead for a Crusaders scrum.

29mins: CRUSADERS TRY - BRIDGE: Barrett wins the lineout ball for the Crusaders and immediatley Todd breaks away with it and beats a couple of tackles. They're just a couple of metres out, Hall fires it to Bridge on the left wing, he's got too much space, steps inside and dives over for the try.

27mins: Lousi gets up to claim the lineout and the Hurricanes look to drive. They're not getting anyway so break through Laumape but his grubber his charged and Bridge looks to counter. Laumape goes high in the tackle and concedes the penalty.

25mins: Perenara spots a gap, gives it to Evans and he's in space! Hurricanes upt to the 22m now as Thomson sets off on a nice run on the right. Beauden tries the cross-kick but Havili gets up to at least tap it into touch.

23mins: Crusaders drive the Hurricanes back 20 metres with the maul. They finally break away through Mo'unga, but his pass hits the deck and Laumape kicks it through before it rolls into touch.

21mins: Evans gets right up over the top of Crotty at the breakdown and gets the turnover. Perenara spots space behind the Crusaders defence, puts the kick in and finds touch inside the 22m.

19mins: HURRICANES TRY - SAVEA: Hurricanes looking to bash their way over, charging it up through their forwards up the middle. Savea gets it on the wing, steps out of the tackle of Bridge, rides the tackle of Crotty and Goodhue, reaches out and he's got it down! We're going upstairs and TMO says try! What a finish from Savea.

17mins: Barrett's under brother, Beauden's kick-off and takes it in comfortably. Hall fires it back to Mo'unga to clear, but his eyes aren't on the ball and he knocks on just 10 metres out from his own try line.

15mins: CRUSADERS TRY - MO'UNGA: Hall cleans up a messy Crusaders lineout. Hall puts Goodhue through a hole, before linking up with Mo'unga and they're just a metre out now. Mo'unga gets it, shows the ball, puts his head down and he's over for the try!

13mins: Crusaders put the shove on at the scrum but the Hurricanes win the penalty. Crusaders front-row weren't square. Important little win there, just 10 metres out from their own try line. 

11mins: Bridge gets it off the back of a set piece move from the scrum and cuts back inside, upto the Hurricanes 22m. Taufua sets off a strong run, bumping a couple out of the way but knocks on as he's tackled to ground.

9mins: Crusaders working their way to the Hurricanes 22m, putting it through a number of phases. Perenara almost intercepts, Havili kicks ahead but Hurricanes are back there and we'll come back for the knock on.

7mins: Havili cleans up at the back, steps one and sets off on a nice little run down the right wing up ro halfway. Franks shows it, tries to find Goodhue but it's ahead of him and he knocks on.

5mins: Crusaders try a short 22m drop out, Beaudie's forced to charge the ball and knocks on, allow Taufua to dive onto it, but Hall's pass is poor and is thrown into touch.

3mins: Crusaders concede the penalty at the maul but Jordie's kick at goal from about halfway is away to the left. Had the legs, just not the direction.

1mins: Mo'unga gets us underway and Evans JUST manages to control it after taking a hard tumble. Jordie clears for Read to charge it back.

7:32pm: Whitelock leading out the red and blacks. Just moments away from kick-off now. Hurricanes making their way out of the sheds. About to get underway!

7:30pm: Odds well and truly stacked against the Hurricanes. But they've won the last six of nine games between the two teams and if their pack can match that of the Crusaders, their backs will have a field day.

7:27pm: There are certainly no shortage of All Blacks on show tonight. Really is game of the year contender.

7:23pm: Weather's perfect so we should see plenty of running rugby. Stark contrast from the conditions in their last meeting in May.

7:12pm: As excited as I am to watch these two teams go at it, I can't wait to see Laumape go head-to-head with Crotty.

7:10pm: And then there were four. Just three games away from crowning the Super Rugby champions. Tonight's game promises to be an absolute belter.

Kia ora and welcome to AMI Stadium as the Crusaders take on the Hurricanes in the first Super Rugby semi-final of the 2018 playoffs.

We bring you live streaming written commentary, (BE SURE TO REFRESH YOUR BROWSER), and all the action.

Commentary will start at around 7.10pm.

Lineups

Crusaders
15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Braydon Ennor.

Hurricanes
15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Jordie Barrett, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Gareth Evans, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith.

Replacements: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Ardie Savea/Reed Prinsep, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Wes Goosen.

Match officials
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Mike Fraser, Ben O’Keeffe
TMO: Shane McDermott

Live updates: Super Rugby semi-final - Crusaders vs Hurricanes

Previous results
25 May 2018 Crusaders v Hurricanes 24-13 Christchurch
10 Mar 2018 Crusaders v Hurricanes 19-29 Wellington
15 Jul 2017 Crusaders v Hurricanes 22-31 Wellington
13 May 2017 Crusaders v Hurricanes 20-12 Christchurch
16 Jul 2016 Crusaders v Hurricanes 10-35 Christchurch

Head-to-head
Crusaders $1.32 Hurricanes $3.35

Pre-match banter: Super Rugby semi-finals – Who advances to the final?

There are just four teams left standing, as we head into Super Rugby semi-finals weekend.

Who will be left when the dust settles?

We chased down three of Newshub’s finest sporting brains for their predictions:

CRUSADERS VS HURRICANES

Ollie Ritchie - Sports reporter

Easily the most-anticipated match of Super Rugby this year, while all things point to a Crusaders victory, it may not be as clear cut as some people think.

The Canes have long had the Crusaders’ number and despite some patchy form - at best - lately, they will be up for this one and looking to avenge their woeful performance in conditions to match in their last meeting.

Ultimately, though, the Crusaders have really found their feet and I can only see this red-and-black machine continue its march towards an historic ninth title.

Crusaders by 10

Reece Labuschagne - Digital sports producer

With my Sharks eliminated, I'm looking at both semi-finals from a South African supporter's perspective.

A home final is on the cards for the Lions, if the Hurricanes can upset the odds and beat the Crusaders, but it’s hard to see that being the case.

The Crusaders simply have it all. They have the advantage up front with an All Black pack and they're not short of quality in the backs either.

But it's out wide where the Hurricanes will fancy their best chance of claiming the win, with a backline not to be scoffed at.

Ngani Laumape is in scary form at the moment and has made his presence felt on his opposites this season ahead of his much-anticipated head-to-head battle with Ryan Crotty.

They're strong and fast out wide through Julian Savea and Ben Lam, and have the competition’s best halves combination in Beauden Barrett and TJ Perenara.

It'll be a back-and-forth battle between the two sides, but expect the experienced Crusaders to win the key moments of the game and, ultimately, book their spot in another final.

Crusaders by 12

Live updates: Super Rugby semi-final - Crusaders vs Hurricanes

Grant Chapman - Digital sports editor

Despite putting the defending champions away early in the season, the Hurricanes really haven't fired through the back half of their Super Rugby campaign and were somewhat fortunate to get past the Chiefs in last week's quarter-finals.

The bungle between referee and video official over TJ Perenara's first-half try - ruled a 'no try' on the field and never conclusively proven otherwise - was enough to get them through to the semis. Even the chatterbox halfback himself was left speechless by the call, but that's history now - we move on.

We all know the Hurricanes have the explosive potential to take out this competition, as they did only two years ago, but they haven't shown that nearly consistently enough over the past couple of months to predict on that basis.

Only their home superiority has kept them in the hunt and they can't count on that to save them this week.

On the other hand, consistency is the Crusaders' trademark and while that doesn't necessarily make for a great spectacle, their forward strength should present the Hurricanes backs little scope to weave their magic.

Crusaders by 15

LIONS VS WARATAHS

Ollie Ritchie

Hardly one to look forward to, but such has been the form of the non-Kiwi sides this year.

The Lions are always going to be tough to beat at Ellis Park, more a reflection of the altitude and atmosphere that come with the territory, rather than the Lions themselves.

Both the Lions and the Waratahs have a played 16, won 9 record this year, so they'll be tough to separate, but I'm backing the Waratahs to cause the upset.

They turned around a 17-point deficit against the Highlanders, so they'll keep that momentum going and book a trip to Christchurch the following week, where they will definitely not win.

Waratahs by seven

Reece Labuschagne

Both teams carry the hope of their respective nations and I expect the whole of South Africa to once again get behind the Lions, as they make a push for their third final in the row.

The Lions will look to and should dominate upfront. They'll be led by juggernaut Malcolm Marx, who is, in my opinion, the best hooker in world rugby.

Expect them to kick for the corners, disrupt the Waratahs lineout and drive their way over the try-line as they have all season.

There is some concern over the Lions backline and that’s where the Waratahs have the advantage, with Bernard Foley running the show, and Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau the weapons out wide.

They tore the Highlanders defence apart with ease in the second half of their quarter-final last week, with their Wallabies stars running rampant.

It's a classic case of forwards vs backs, but I believe the gap is a lot smaller out wide. The Lions also head into the semi-final having already beaten the Waratahs this season, a 29-0 drubbing in Sydney.

Lions by 10

The Lions could set up a rematch of last year's Super Rugby final with the Crusaders if they beat the Waratahs.
The Lions could set up a rematch of last year's Super Rugby final with the Crusaders if they beat the Waratahs. Photo credit: Getty

Grant Chapman

The South African champions are well placed to become the first team to lose - I mean contest - three consecutive finals, which would almost make them the Buffalo Bills of Super Rugby.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, right? Most franchises would give their right testicle to make it that far once.

They'll have home advantage against the Waratahs, which have quietly been one of the form teams of the competition (in terms of wins and losses) since beating the Highlanders to break the Aussie losing streak against NZ franchises.

They achieved that again in Dunedin last week and are clearly hitting their straps at the right time, but must now overcome a massive road trip to Johannesburg to further their title aspirations. That seems like a bridge too far - the Lions were 29-0 better in Sydney three months ago - so brace for a Lions vs Crusaders final in Christchurch.  

Lions by six

Newshub.

 

 

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