Crusaders beat Hurricanes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crusaders beat Hurricanes

16/05/2003 10:27:36 PM Comments (0)

Defending champion Canterbury beat Wellington Hurricanes 39-16 in Friday night's semi-final to claim a place in rugby union's Super 12 final for the fifth time in six years.

Loose forwards Sam Broomhall, Richie McCaw and replacement Scott Robertson scored tries for the Crusaders and rookie inside centre David Carter kicked five penalties and three conversions - eight goals from 10 attempts - to give the home team an emphatic victory.

The Crusaders, four-times champion since the inception of the Super 12 in 1996, will meet the winner of Saturday's semi-final between the Auckland Blues and ACT Brumbies in next week's championship final.

"It was a good semi-final performance," said Canterbury and All Black captain Reuben Thorn.

"There's a lot of pride at stake in the semi-finals and the guys stepped up to it. They handled the pressure of the occasion well."

The Crusaders were able to achieve quick, consecutive phased possession and to force back the Hurricanes with deep and accurate tactical kicking.

When the Hurricanes were in possession Canterbury rocked them onto the back foot with punishing, decisive first tackles which forced frequent turnovers.

"We chucked everything at them but everything we tried they threw back at us," said Hurricanes skipper Tana Umaga - a rival to Thorn for the All Black captaincy this year.

"I couldn't be more proud of my guys. They never gave up and this experience will stand them in good stead in future years. We just weren't experienced enough and we didn't exploit enough."

The Hurricanes, playing in only their second Super 12 semifinal and first in six years, scored first via a penalty to David Holwell, but only managed one further penalty goal in the first half and trailed 19-6 at the break.

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