‘Gutted’ Crusaders have no excuses for loss

A dejected Crusaders captain Kieran Read said they have no excuses after the Chiefs beat them 20-19 in their Super Rugby Semi-final.

The result ended a run of five straight wins for the Crusaders and means that there will be a five year gap at the least between Super Rugby titles.

The seven time champions, Super Rugby’s most succesful team, the Crusaders last won a title in 2008 but have participated and been eliminated in the finals every year since 2009.

Leading 3-9 at half time in a tight match the Crusaders looked set to be on track for victory but they allowed the Chiefs to take control of the match on the scoreboard.

“There’s moments in these games that turn them and they certainly got those bounces of the ball,” Read said after the match.

“We’re gutted. It’s disappointing but you’ve got to give it to the Chiefs.”

“It’s their moment and they’re doing it well.”

Chiefs captain Craig Clarke said that their second half 17 point blitz came as a result of them changing tactics.

“We made it hard for ourselves with our set piece,” said Clarke.

“We spread the ball more than we have done in previous weeks and they couldn’t settle into their strong defensive system.”

The Chiefs will face the winners of the Bulls vs Brumbies match in the second Semi-final next weekend while the Crusaders season is now over.

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