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Clinical Crusaders crush Stormers to reach final

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Article Published: Saturday 2 July 2011|

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The Crusaders booked a place in the 2011 Super Rugby final when they beat the Stormers 10-29 at Newlands in Cape Town ending South Africa's reign as Super Rugby champions.

The Bulls have been Super Rugby Champions for the last two years but South Africans were hoping that the Stormers would be able to win the title and keep it in South Africa.

The result means that the Super Rugby final will be the Reds vs Crusaders, at Suncorp in Brisbane at 19h40 on Saturday the 9th of July.

The Stormers scored the first points of the match with a penalty but the Crusaders hit back with an intercept try by Sean Maitland in the 15th minute and did not look back as they led for the rest of the match.

Trailing 10-23 at half time the Stormers suffered a further blow as Captain Schalk Burger was replaced by Shalk Brits as Burger had a broken thumb.

Stormers stand in captain Jean de Villiers admitted after the match, "We just didn't turn up."

All the damage was done in the first-half with the Crusaders registering a 23-10 lead at the break and converted two more second-half penalties through the boot of flyhalf Dan Carter.

As hard as they tried to the Stormers could not add to their first half points in the final 40 minutes.

The hosts though had started off the encounter solidly despite being hampered by the late withdrawal of scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenhage, and were impressive in the early exchanges.

They opened the scoring through flyhalf Peter Grant after he was stopped inches from the try line.

Crusaders, who are seven-time champions, worked their way back and levelled the scores through a Carter penalty shortly before suffered an injury loss with scrumhalf Andy Ellis leaving the field with a knee injury.

Just as the Stormers adapted without their first choice halfback, the Crusaders lifted their game after Ellis' departure and were rewarded with a brilliant try from winger Sean Maitland.

Maitland intercepted a poorly timed pass by eighthman Nick Koster for the five points.

Carter then ensured his side opened up a 10 point lead over the home side when he slotted two more penalties.

And if the New Zealanders' dominance at scrum time - with prop Wyatt Crockett named Man-of-the-Match - didn't stun the Cape outfit, a trademark Sonny Bill Williams offload to his centre partner Robbie Freuan then surely did.

The pass from Williams allowed Freuan to cross untouched as the margin increased from a reachable 10 to a comfortable 17-point advantage.

With less than five minutes left in the first half, Stormers wing Bryan Habana caught the Crusaders off guard to score from a quickly tapped penalty, reducing his side's deficit to 10 points at the interval.

This turned to be the home side's only try of the evening with Carter getting a successful shot at goal soon after the re-start.

The Stormers responded by keeping ball-in-hand, but could again not find a break as a promising attacking move ended with centre Jaque Fourie being pushed into touch a metre short of the try line by brilliant Crusaders cover defence from Zac Guildford.

As the pressure started building, so did the number of unforced errors the Stormers made in the tackling area.

Carter's fifth penalty of the night would, however, come from an infringement in the scrum.

He added another in the last quarter of the match to assure the men from Christchurch their win and to send a significant number of Stormers supporters out of their seats before the full-time whistle.

Final Score Stormers 10 Crusaders 29

Scorers

Stormers
Tries - B Habana
Pen - P Grant
Con - P Grant
Drop -
Cards -

Crusaders
Tries - S Maitland, R Fruean
Pen - D Carter 5
Con - D Carter 2
Drop -
Cards -

Attendance : 48017

Match Officials
Referee: Craig Joubert (SA)
AR 1: Jaco Peyper (SA)
AR 2: Stefan Breytenbach (SA)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (SA)

Teams

Stormers :Conrad Jantjies, Gio Aplon, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Peter Grant, Louis Schreuder, Nick Koster, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger (capt), Andries Bekker, Rynhardt Elstadt, Brok Harris, Tiaan Liebenberg, Wicus Blaauw.

Replacements: Deon Fourie, Steven Kitshoff, Anton van Zyl, Schalk Brits,Nic Groom , Juan de Jongh, Johann Sadie .

Crusaders: 1. Wyatt Crockett , 2. Corey Flynn , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Brad Thorn , 5. Sam Whitelock , 6. George Whitelock , 7. Richie McCaw (c) , 8. Kieran Read , 9. Andy Ellis , 10. Dan Carter , 11. Zac Guildford , 12. Sonny Bill Williams , 13. Robbie Fruean , 14. Sean Maitland , 15. Tom Marshall

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

 
 
 
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