Super 14 Semi Finals
Last night I watched the Super 14 Semi Finals. The worry (for me – a Crusaders fan) was that the run of form of the end of season would continue for the two Kiwi teams: the Crusaders looking sketchy and the Hurricanes growing in stature. The worry for the Hurricanes fans would have been that we would see a repeat of the usual encounter between the two teams: a much vaunted Hurricanes team being given a masterclass in rugby by the experienced team (who have won 12 out of the last 16 encounters). In the end my fears were unfounded, but the Hurricanes’ were not. The final score of Crusaders 33 Hurricanes 22 flattered the Hurricanes who scored two late tries after the result was no longer in doubt. The Crusaders dominated in every facet of the game (with the exception of the scrum where the Hurricanes were nearly at parity), dominating territory (76% overall) and possession and playing a staggering 33 minutes of the game in the Hurricanes 22!
Next week brings the final, and the Crusaders can’t be too worried after the Waratahs defeated a woeful Sharks side. The rather dreadful game must have left Colin Cooper (the Hurricanes’ coach) ruing the Hurricanes missed points during the season, as neither side looked up to the standard of semifinals football. With a display of great ineptitude (poor handling errors, poor defence, bumbling attack and dreadful lineouts) the Sharks would have been put away by anyone else by 50 points. That the Waratahs only managed to win by 28 to 13 should have them worried.