The Crusaders and the Chiefs account for 12 of the 24 Super Rugby titles since the tournament’s inception in 1996 (excluding Super Rugby Aotearoa and Trans-Tasman).
The Crusaders have won 10 of their last 14 Super Rugby games against the Chiefs (L4); although, the spoils are split at two wins apiece from their four finals meetings. The Chiefs won the first two clashes (2012, 2013) and the Crusaders won the most recent two (2017, 2021 SRA).
- Clayton McMillan’s men picked up a 24-21 win when they last met Scott Robertson’s side (12 March 2022), their first win in Christchurch since 2016 – the win snapped a six-game losing streak in such fixtures for the Chiefs.
- The Crusaders have won eight of their last 10 Super Rugby home games (L2), including their last three in Super Rugby Pacific; they’ve won all 26 of their previous home games in Super Rugby finals.
- The Waikato men have won seven of their last eight Super Rugby Pacific games (L1), including their last four games; the last time they won more in succession was a five-game stretch from March to April in the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign.
- The Chiefs have only won two of their 11 previous away Super Rugby finals games, with both of those wins coming against the Stormers (2016 & 2017).
- The Chiefs (9) and Crusaders (9.7) have conceded the fewest and third-fewest penalties per game of any team in the competition.
- No team has received fewer yellow cards this campaign than the Chiefs (3).
- The Hamilton franchise has never won an away semi-final (0-3).
- Scott Roberston is coaching his 100th match since taking over in 2017. His record is phenomenal (99 games, 84 wins, 13 losses, 2 draws).
Players to watch
- Bryn Gatland (11) and Bryn Hall (10) have made more assists than any other players in the competition.
- Alex Nankivell scored two tries and made one assist when he faced the Crusaders in Round 6 and he has been directly involved in three tries in his last four games (2 tries, 1 assist).
- Will Jordan has scored 18 tries in his last 19 Super Rugby games, including six tries in his last four games; furthermore, he has scored seven tries in his last seven games against the Chiefs, crossing at least once in six of those seven games.
- Sam Whitelock injured his thumb at training during the week and is out of the semi-final.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEP! We are underway at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch, New Zealand.
3.00: Angus Ta’avao knocks on outside his team’s 22 after the game’s first scrum.
6.00: PENALTY! Richie Mo’unga opens the scoring. 3-0
7.00: Both teams kicking a lot in the wet and windy conditions. The visitors are struggling, dropping passes, high balls and misjudging the high kicks.
8.00: YELLOW CARD! Pablo Matera drops the ball and slipped into Quinn Tupaea’s shoulder. Referee Nic Berry has made a harsh call, even the TMO Chris Hart tried to talk him out of a card. 3-0
9.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga (6th – 1,038) doubles the lead as well as overtaking Stirling Mortlock (7th – 1,036) on the all-time Super Rugby points scorers’ list. 6-0
10.00: Matera, who should be off for an HIA and is not, is offside. Gatland boots his team into a good attacking position.
12.00: NO TRY! Sevu Reece dislodges the ball from Pita Gus Sowakula’s hands as the number eight tried to dot down over the line. That is poor from Sowakula, who should have scored. 6-0
13.00: The hosts are leaking penalties, Oli Jager is caught offside before the Chiefs lose possession. Brad Weber wants to scrum from five out.
15.00: The scrum goes down, Oli Jager has been pinged again, but Hall was offside too. Weber wants another scrum.
17.00: A good scrum earns the visitors another scrum penalty. Five penalties inside the 22 still do not lead to a card. Tupaea is almost back.
18.00: Tupaea is back on for the reset scrum, the Chiefs managed to run down the clock while only conceding three with 14 players.
20.00: YELLOW CARD! Matera is off after the hosts give away their seventh penalty. The scrum is under the posts. 6-0
22.00: Superb defending by Robertson’s side, who wins back possession through Mo’unga before Reece’s clearance ends with a five-metre scrum to the Saders. That is a massive psychological boost for the home team, who always punishes profligacy.
23.00: TRY! Cullen Grace breaks to the blindside, he is tackled by Weber but manages to reach out and dot the ball on the chalk. 11-0
25.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 13-0
27.00: TRY! Brodie Retallick won the restart to kickstart an 18-phase attack that ended with Ta’avao putting the visitors on the board. 13-5
28.00: CONVERSION! Bryn Gatland adds the extras. 13-7
30.00: A high tackle by Gatland on Havili allows Mo’unga to kick to the corner.
31.00: Zach Gallagher, in for Sam Whitelock, loses the ball forward from Codie Taylor’s throw-in. Scrum to the Chiefs.
32.00: A Second YELLOW CARD becomes a RED CARD! Pablo Matera is off after getting his second yellow card of the half. 13-7
35.00: TRY! Mo’unga beats two defenders before offloading to George Bower, who powered towards the line. The ball was recycled quickly to Mo’unga, who threw a long cutout pass to Grace, to go in untouched for his second score of the game. 18-7
37.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga adds the extras. 20-7
38.00: Crusaders give away their ninth penalty of the half, Gatland boots to the 22. McMillan’s men need a goal here!
41.00: Leicester Fainga’anuku makes a try-saving intercept before Hall boots to touch for halftime.
The halftime score was Crusaders 20 Chiefs 7
41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway in Canterbury, NZ.
44.00: More wastefulness from the Chiefs ends in a turnover.
48.00: It’s all Chiefs but they cannot find a way through the red wall.
52.00: Corey Kellow is on for Matera, and the Crusaders are back to 15 players.
54.00: Oh dear, Tupaea starts, but cannot finish a sweeping attack. Alex Nankivell was open on the sideline and would have walked over for five. The tackle count is mounting, the Saders have made 160 to 52.
56.00: The Crusaders are camped inside the Chiefs’ 22.
58.00: The penalty count is now 12-3 against the hosts, who probably will see another card soon.
61.00: The Chiefs have sepent 11m52s inside the opposition’s 22 with only seven points to show. 194 tackles to 68, 23 missed to 14 in favour of the hosts.
64.00: The tackle-count is above 200 now, the Chiefs are still stuck on 68, which is insane.
68.00: It’s all Chiefs, but the Saders win a kickable penalty from a scrum.
70.00: MISS! Mo’unga pulls his attempot wide. 20-7
75.00; time is running out foir the Waikato men, this game is almost over.
78.00: The Crusaders have made a record 222 tackles in a game this season – WOW!
81.00: The hooter sounds, Robertson has led his team to a record 15th Super Rugby final. Sensational!
The final score is Crusaders 20 (20) Chiefs 7 (7)
Tries – Grace (2)
Pen – Mo’unga (2)
Con – Mo’unga (2)
Cards – Matera (Yellow, 20′, 2nd Yellow [Red] 32′)
Tries – Ta’avao
Con – Gatland
Cards – Tupaea (Yellow, 8′)
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 2: Jordan Way
TMO: Chris Hart
Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 David Havili, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Zach Gallagher, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Oli Jager, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower.
Replacements: 16 Brodie McAlister, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Corey Kellow, 21 Mitch Drummond, 22 Braydon Ennor, 23 George Bridge.
Chiefs: 15 Josh Ioane, 14 Jonah Lowe, 13 Alex Nankivell, 12 Quinn Tupaea, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Brad Weber (captain), 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Luke Jacobson, 6 Samipeni Finau, 5 Tupou Vaa’i, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements: 16 Bradley Slater, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 George Dyer, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Xaiver Roe, 22 Rameka Poihipi, 23 Chase Tiatia.