Crusaders vs Hurricanes - Report - Super Rugby 2018 - 28 Jul, 2018

Waratahs players stretch during a training session in Johannesburg during the week

Waratahs players stretch during a training session in Johannesburg during the week

Richie Mo'unga sparkled as the Crusaders blew the Hurricanes away to reach the Super Rugby final with a 30-12 victory at AMI Stadium on Saturday.

Shields was not trying to downplay the significance of the second semi-final between South Africa's Lions and the New South Wales Waratahs, the victor of which will host the August 4 final if the Hurricanes defeat the Crusaders.

Mo'unga, who made his All Blacks test debut against France last month, scored a try, slotted 10 points with the boot and kept his side going forward with superb game management to ensure the Crusaders would host their first final in 10 years.

If the Crusaders have a similar all-round performance against their opponents in the final, they will fancy themselves for a ninth Super Rugby title.

Their ability to launch a long-range counter from turnover ball, and to score either side of half-time, proved crucial as they built a 18-7 led at half-time and immediately moved to 25-7 after the resumption.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson confirmed that Taufua will require surgery after breaking a bone in his arm in the first half of last night's semifinal, Stuff reports.

Gibson wasn't looking for excuses in the game against the Lions, which saw them struggle when substitute Damien Fitzpatrick was sin-binned only minutes after coming on in the second half.

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In a match billed as the final before the final, with the conference format putting the top two teams from the regular season this year on the same side of the playoff draw, the Crusaders struck early and never fell behind.

Elton Jantjies' penalty put the Lions 22-19 ahead 15 minutes into the second half, which was followed by a second try from Marx at the end of another driving maul. "Guys have stepped up when we needed them to", said Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock.

Center Jack Goodhue made a long run back into the Hurricanes 22 and linked with All Blacks captain Kieran Read, who drove the ball toward the line.

Winger Bridge's try was the result of Hurricanes centre Ngani Laumape having a kick charged down and conceding a penalty, while Mo'unga added two penalties within three minutes, again from Hurricanes mistakes.

"Richie's done it all year".

The other semi-final takes place earlier in the day (11:35 UAE time) in New Zealand between the defending champions, the Crusaders, and the Hurricanes.

Not that he would have required any digits to tell him about missed tackles, given the way the Crusaders' backs were able to create line breaks as they angled their attacks towards midfielders Ngani Laumape and Jordie Barrett.

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