Waratahs go down fighting against Lions in Super Rugby semi

05 August, 2018, 07:46 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • If he can do it was as much impact as Stephen Donald did that’d be great

The Hurricanes' 30-12 defeat by the Canterbury Crusaders brought Boyd's four-season involvement with the team to an end and the Saints will now be hoping the 60-year-old can replicate the success he had in Super Rugby at the English Premiership.

The former Munster and Ireland outhalf joined the coaching ticket back in January as assistant coach to Scott Robertson and has earned high praise in New Zealand for the positive impact he's had on the side.

It's been called a foregone conclusion and waste of time but the Lions intend to heed lessons from losing the past two Super Rugby title matches when they attempt to upset the Crusaders in the 2018 final.

Injuries aside, Robertson viewed Saturday's semi-final victory over the Hurricanes as a sign his defending champions were tracking well to claim a ninth title, with discipline, defence and the skills of fly-half Richie Mo'unga working as planned.

Steve Hansen will name his squad for the Rugby Championship, which starts on August 18, after the final next Saturday between the Crusaders and Lions.

Lions captain Warren Whitely was keenly aware of the enormity of the task.

That made it imperative the Hurricanes score first in the second half.

Winger Aphiwe Dyantyi and his replacement, Courtnall Skosan, also scored, with Dyantyi's 80-meter solo effort showing the Lions can produce thrilling as well as grinding tries.

Two Mo'unga penalties in as many minutes just before half-time gave the Crusaders an 18-7 lead at the interval and Havili took a pass from Bryn Hall before slicing his way through to go over early in the second half after great work from Jack Goodhue.

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"Christchurch is a great place to go for a rugby match and we will be up against a great Crusaders team".

As if the strength of the Crusaders was not enough, the statistics are also not in favour of the Hurricanes.

The 'Canes lost four of their final five matches to end the regular season, and enter tonight's match having never won a playoff match against the Crusaders.

Mo'unga showed his class again to get his head up and set up Ennor for Crusaders' fourth five-pointer with a sublime cross-field kick.

"Richie's done it all year".

Hurricanes skipper Brad Shields, playing his last game before heading off to England, said the turnover proved costly.

"They challenged us to be better".

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said before the match that the result would be determined by the forwards and that's how it turned out with the Crusaders turning on a merciless display.

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