Super Rugby Review: Quarterfinals
Saturday, July 21, 2018 Lynn McConnell Getty Images
Crusaders 40 Sharks 10
Two tries within the first 11 minutes, scored in typical Crusaders fashion when making the most of chances, hinted that the task in front of the Sharks was going to be a big one. The Africans proved competitive for long periods but lacked the finish to apply greater pressure to the home team. In reality, the Crusaders were able to play in relatively orthodox fashion by their own standards, and with the effects of travel kicking in on the visitors, they stormed home to widen the margin in the final quarter. Click HERE for ticketing information for the semifinal vs the Hurricanes on Saturday 28 July.
For a side who had benefited from making fast starts to their recent games, the Chiefs must have been deflated by conceding an intercept try within the first minute of their game against the Hurricanes in Wellington. They did battle their way back into the contest but a strong start to the second half by the home team maintained pressure on the Chiefs and eventually when gaps were opened by Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape around the threequarter mark for tries to TJ Perenara and Ben Lam the issue was beyond doubt. The Chiefs struck late but they were too far removed to snare a win.
Twenty-four unanswered points in the first half proved crucial for the Lions at Ellis Park while the Jaguares' mistakes did nothing to help them stay in touch with the hosts. Strangling them at scrum time, the Lions made the most of their chances and while the Jaguares regathered their forces early in the second half, their effort proved unsustainable as penalties were conceded and the Lions were able to inch ahead. First five-eighths Elton Jantjies contributed 20 points with his boot to punish the Jaguares and end their best Super Rugby campaign to date.
Playing a controlled style of rugby the Highlanders dominated the first half against the Waratahs in Sydney and were only one more try away from sealing the game when Waisake Naholo's sin-binning for making two head-high tackles in the same defensive movement spelled disaster. The Waratahs reacted with their best play of the game to score three tries in 10 minutes to steal the prize. Shannon Frizell looked to go close to scoring an equaliser but was ruled to have grounded the ball short of the line and the chance to push the game to extra time was lost.
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