2011 VODACOM SUPER RUGBY SEMI-FINAL REVIEW

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crusaders vs stormers 2011

crusaders vs stormers 2011

Vodacom Super Rugby Semi-Finals Review of Stormers vs Crusaders & Reds vs Blues

The Crusaders became only the third team in the history of Vodacom Super Rugby to cross the Indian Ocean and win a playoff match when they beat the DHL Stormers in the second semi-final in Cape Town on Saturday.

 

By beating the DHL Stormers by 29-10 at a cold and wet DHL Newlands, the Crusaders added their names to The Sharks (beat the Reds in Brisbane in 1996) and the Highlanders (beat the Stormers in Cape Town in 1999) as the only teams to win knock-out games after travelling between South Africa and Australasia.

 

The Crusaders’ experience in playoff rugby was eventually the difference between the two sides, although the DHL Stormers will be disappointed with their defence, scrumming and tactical kicking.

 

The Conference winners from New Zealand, seven times Vodacom Super Rugby champions, played with more patience than their hosts, ensuring they first get to the right side of halfway before trying to attack.

 

In contrast, the DHL Stormers struggled to get out of their half and then they erred, Crusaders fly-half Dan Carter was at hand to kick at goal. Carter slotted five penalty goals and two conversions for a personal haul of 19 points. The Crusaders’ two tries were scored by winger Sean Maitland and outside centre Robbie Fruean.

 

The DHL Stormers didn’t get too many opportunities to score points in only their third ever home semi-final. Springbok wing Bryan Habana scored their only try, late in the first half, after taking a quick tap penalty close to the Crusaders’ try-line. Peter Grant added the conversion to an early penalty for the rest of the home team’s points. All three tries were scored in the first half.

 

The score at the break was 23-10 and even though the DHL Stormers fought on manfully in the second half, the Crusaders never lost control of the match.

 

The DHL Stormers lost their captain, Springbok flanker Schalk Burger, at the end of the first half with a hand injury, while Dewaldt Duvenage, who was named to start at scrumhalf, failed a late fitness test and was replaced by Louis Schreuder.

 

The Crusaders will now fly to Brisbane for the final of 2011’s Vodacom Super Rugby season. The Reds, winners of the Australian Conference, beat the Blues earlier on Saturday by 30-13 at Suncorp Stadium to earn hosting rights to the final.

 

Rod Davies scored a hat-trick of tries for the Reds, while Ben Tapuai added their fourth. Quade Cooper converted two tries, kicked a penalty goal and a drop goal. For the Blues, Chris Lowrey scored a try, Stephen Brett converted and Luke McAlister added two penalty goals.

 

It will be the Reds’ first appearance in a Vodacom Super Rugby final after they made the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. The previously lost to the Sharks (1996), Crusaders (1999) and ACT Brumbies (2001) in semi-finals.

 

In stark contrast, the Crusaders will be playing in their tenth Vodacom Super Rugby final. They have won seven and lost two thus far. The team from Canterbury won their last title in 2008 and last played away from home in a final in 2004, when they lost to the Brumbies in Canberra.

 

 

DHL Stormers 10 vs Crusaders 29

DHL Stormers:

15 Conrad Jantjes,

14 Gio Aplon,

13 Jaque Fourie,

12 Jean de Villiers,

11 Bryan Habana,

10 Peter Grant,

9 Louis Schreuder,

8 Nick Koster,

7 Francois Louw,

6 Schalk Burger (captain),

5 Andries Bekker,

4 Rynhardt Elstadt,

3 Brok Harris,

2 Tiaan Liebenberg,

1 Wicus Blaauw.

 

Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie (65th minute for Liebenberg), 17 Steven

Kitshoff (52nd minute for Blaauw), 18 Anton van Zyl (65th minute for

Elstadt), 19 Schalk Brits (41st minute for Burger), 20 Nic Groom (65th

minute for Schreuder), 21 Juan de Jongh (52nd minute for Jantjes), 22

Johann Sadie (75th minute for Aplon).

 

Scorers – Try: Habana. Conversion: Grant. Penalty goal: Grant.

 

Crusaders:

15 Tom Marshall,

14 Sean Maitland,

13 Robbie Fruean,

12 Sonny Bill Williams,

11 Zac Guildford,

10 Dan Carter,

9 Andy Ellis,

8 Kieran Read,

7 Richie McCaw (captain),

6 George Whitelock,

5 Sam Whitelock,

4 Brad Thorn,

3 Owen Franks,

2 Corey Flynn,

1 Wyatt Crockett.

 

Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Luke Romano, 19 Matt Todd, 20 Kahn Fotuali’i, 21 Matt Berquist, 22 Ryan Crotty.

 

Scorers – Tries: Maitland, Fruean. Conversions: Carter (2). Penalty goals: Carter (5)

 

SCORING SEQUENCE:

6th minute: Penalty goal – Grant (Stormers) 3-0

14th minute: Penalty goal – Carter (Crusaders) 3-3

15th minute: Try – Maitland (Crusaders), conversion Carter 3-10

20th minute: Penalty goal – Carter (Crusaders) 3-13

25th minute: Penalty goal – Carter (Crusaders) 3-16

34th minute: Try – Fruean (Crusaders), conversion Carter 3-23

38th minute: Try – Habana (DHL Stormers), conversion Grant 10-23

43rd minute: Penalty goal – Carter (Crusaders) 10-26

65th minute: Penalty goal – Carter (Crusaders) 10-29

By SARU

 

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