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Chiefs upset Crusaders to make Super final

Date

Chiefs 20 Crusaders 17

Daniel Carter of the Crusaders is tackled by Liam Messam and Tawera Kerr-Barlow of the Chiefs.

Daniel Carter of the Crusaders is tackled by Liam Messam and Tawera Kerr-Barlow of the Chiefs. Photo: AFP

The Chiefs held on to topple Super Rugby playoff masters the Crusaders 20-17 in Hamilton on Friday night to book a place in just their second final.

A brutal, nerve-jangling semi-final at Waikato Stadium was won by a more desperate Chiefs side, who harried their fancied rivals into mistakes while scoring two tries to one.

Sonny Bill Williams of the Chiefs breaks away.

Sonny Bill Williams of the Chiefs breaks away. Photo: Getty Images

They held onto a three-point lead over the final quarter and a capacity crowd of 25,000 heaved a sigh of relief when Crusaders five-eighth Dan Carter missed a chance to send the game into extra time with a stray long-range penalty.

Sonny Bill Williams, playing against his former team, showed what a loss he will be to New Zealand rugby.

His display of power running was a standout while the Chiefs pack stood strong in some brutal exchanges up front after being eclipsed when the teams last met three weeks ago.

They were stinging in defence, an area where the Crusaders were unusually poor, failing to handle the bursts of Williams and slick five-eighth Aaron Cruden.

Cruden and Carter traded early penalties before prop Sona Taumalolo gave the Chiefs a lead in the 26th minute that they weren't to relinquish, burrowing over in typical style for his ninth try of the campaign.

Flanker Liam Messam was the recipient of a super Williams offload to storm over soon afterwards and it took a try to centre Ryan Crotty on the stroke of halftime to keep the visitors in the game at 17-11 down.

Carter's two penalties after the break pulled them closer while Cruden slotted a lone penalty in the second spell.

It was just the third appearance in a semi-final for the Chiefs, compared to the 14th for the Crusaders.

The Crusaders have reached the semi-finals for four straight years but failed to add to their seven championships.

The Chiefs must await the outcome of the all-South African semi-final in Cape Town on Sunday morning (AEST) to learn their opposition and venue for next weekend's final.

They will play the top-qualifying Stormers in Cape Town or host the Sharks.

CHIEFS 20 (Liam Messam, Sona Taumalolo tries Aaron Cruden 2 cons 2 pens) bt CRUSADERS 17 (Ryan Crotty try Daniel Carter 4 pens) at Waikato Stadium. Referee: Craig Joubert.AAP

AAP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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