As can well be imagined, Christchurch, New Zealand was alive and buzzing on Saturday in the minutes leading up to the much-anticipated semi-finals, where hosts Crusaders took on the Hurricanes. The excitement was just as obvious in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as the Brumbies kitted up to play against the Jaguares on foreign soil. These nail-biting games ended with wins from the Crusaders and Jaguares, oddly enough the hosts of each game, who go through to the finals for the big game, which will be played in Christchurch.
The Crusaders vs The Hurricanes
In the first 39 minutes of the game, the Crusaders were in the lead, 13-0 and a dramatic turn of events and to the Hurricanes supporter’s glee, Hurricanes changed their strategy from kicking to running with the ball. The Hurricanes were guilty of handing over, or rather kicking away, possession too often and their change of plan helped them thin out the Crusaders defence, this was part of their explosive start to the second half and, a second chance. Unfortunately for them whenever they executed a touchdown, the Crusaders retaliated leaving the 4-point gap at the end of gameplay.
The Jaguares vs The Brumbies
The Jaguares dug into the Brumbies in Buenos Aires with a 39-7 win landing their first spot in Super Rugby final. The Argentinians scored 20 points in the first 20 minutes of the game that were left unretaliated. By the half time break, the Brumbies had started to gain some footage, but once the score was 20-7 to the Jaguares, the New Zealanders seemed to be running on the spot.
The Argentinians who have six straight victories under their belts scored three more tries in the second half to secure their spot as victors in the semi-finals. Perhaps it was the support of the 30 000 chanting and cheering fans that gave the South Americans the confidence to win so securely. After a long flight across the Pacific Ocean, the Brumbies had hope that they’d be in the finals for a fourth time, especially as they had seven consecutive wins but their only advantage only was winning several penalties in the scrums, where they put up a good fight and pushed the Jaguares back a few times.
The Final Word before The Final Game
The Crusaders, who are also the defending champions, will host the final game against the Jaguares next Saturday, who appear in the finals for the first time. The question now being asked is will they be allowed to play in the next round of Super Rugby?
Rugby to look forward to
Big time rugby supporters need not spiral into depression. Although super rugby may be coming to an end, you can get your fix by watching the Women’s Rugby Super Series fixtures on Saturday 06 July with France vs New Zealand and Canada vs England, both matches in San Diego. Below are a few more games in that season you might like to watch after the Jaguares play the Crusaders.
Wednesday 10 July 2019:
- England vs France
Canada vs the United States of America
Sunday 14 July 2019:
- France vs the United States of America
New Zealand vs England