Super Rugby 2017

Canterbury Crusaders beat Waikato Chiefs to set up Super Rugby final against Lions

Seta Tamanivalu scores two tries in Christchurch to keep side in hunt for first title since 2008 while the South Africans stun defending champions Hurricanes

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 July, 2017, 5:30pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 July, 2017, 11:22pm

Winger Seta Tamanivalu grabbed two tries as the Canterbury Crusaders beat the Waikato Chiefs 27-13 in Christchurch on Saturday to advance to their 12th Super Rugby final.

The seven-time champions were brutally efficient in demonstrating how to win a game without the ball as the Chiefs dominated territory, possession and split the defensive line on numerous occasions but were unable to finish.

The Crusaders, who have not won the title since 2008, face the Lions in the final after the South African side stunned reigning champions Wellington Hurricanes 44-29 in Johannesburg.

Having slipped up in their last match of the regular season against the Hurricanes, the Crusaders will be relying on their compatriots to beat the Lions and give them a home final.

“I don’t know how Seta does it, he seems to make a try out of nothing,” Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock said.

“We didn’t have the ball much and the boys were definitely blowing and the legs were heavy, but full credit to the boys they were just hanging on and showed some real determination and grit.”

The New Zealand side romped to a 22-3 lead just before the halftime break, but the Lions found their rhythm in the second period to set up a showdown with the Canterbury Crusaders in Johannesburg next Saturday.

It was also sweet revenge for the Lions, who had lost their previous eight matches against the Hurricanes, including last season’s Super Rugby final when they were beaten 20-3 in Wellington.

It also extends the stay of Gloucester-bound Lions coach Johan Ackermann for one more game, when he will have the chance to end his four-year stay by helping them become just the second South African team, after the Bulls, to lift the Super Rugby trophy.