Home team Away Team

Waratahs

33 - 32

Crusaders

  • Super Rugby
  • Final
  • 2nd Aug 2014
  • KO 09:40
  • Ground: Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Super Rugby final preview: New South Wales Waratahs host Christchurch Crusaders at Sydney's ANZ Stadium

By Ben Hampshire | @BH92   Last updated: 31st July 2014   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Richie McCaw Crusaders SR 2014

Richie McCaw: Uncompromising forward back at his best following a period out of action with concussion earlier in the season

michael hooper waratahs training

Michael Hooper: Waratahs captain has been a talismanic force in defence all season

UNION Nemani  Nadolo Super Rugby Crusaders

Nemani Nadolo: Hot on the heels of Folau with 11 tries this term

Waratahs full back Israel Folau crouched

Israel Folau: Star attraction of this season's competition with a chart-topping 12 tries

Related links

News

Teams

Also see

New South Wales Waratahs do battle with seven-time champions Crusaders in Saturday’s Super Rugby final in Sydney, with the hosts desperate to end their final failings and claim a maiden crown.

Twice the Waratahs have graced the biggest stage in the southern hemisphere’s premier competition, yet have bowed at the feet of the Christchurch Crusaders on both occasions.

In 2005 the Crusaders roared to a 35-25 triumph in the showpiece event and again prevailed on home soil in 2008 with a 20-12 win, but it is the Waratahs – playing in front of a partisan ANZ Stadium crowd – who are billed as favourites to clinch the 2014 title.

The New South Wales franchise are in pole position to overcome their final heartache after a table-topping season which has seen them deploy thrilling attacking play but they will come up against the stoic defensive might of the Crusaders.

As is so often the case the team at the regular season summit are joined by the runners-up, although a seven-point gulf separated the sides at the end of term.

The free-flowing Waratahs chalked up 55 tries on their way to claiming nine scoring bonus-points from 12 wins, while the Crusaders earned maximum points in only four of their 11 triumphs.

It is a clash which pits brute force against dynamic flair. IRB World Player of the Year Kieran Read, talismanic All Black Richie McCaw and uncompromising flanker Matt Todd spearheading a potent Crusaders pack, while the attacking zeal of leading try-scorer Israel Folau and highly-rated winger Alofa Alofa give the Waratahs a lethal edge.

All Blacks full-back Israel Dagg and flyer Nemani Nadolo – scorer of 11 tries this season – are the men charged with getting the better of Folau and Alofa, while Wallaby duo Adam Ashley-Cooper and Kurtley Beale will lock horns with All Black centurion Dan Carter and Ryan Crotty in an all-international midfield battle.

Fighting talk

Todd Blackadder’s Crusaders cruised into the final with a resounding five-try demolition of South African side the Sharks, while the Waratahs overcame Australian conference rivals Brumbies 26-8 to earn another shot at the elusive Super Rugby crown they crave so dearly.

Both Blackadder and his opposite number Michael Cheika have named unchanged sides for Saturday’s final and the Waratahs coach understands the threat posed by the Crusaders.

“We’ve got to keep pushing, holding on is not enough,” Cheika told the club’s official website. “We will go out there, play as we have all season and play good attacking footy and give them some trouble.

“The Crusaders are a powerful unit who really focus on their set piece and will be confident after taking apart a strong Sharks outfit.”

Despite being kept apart from the Waratahs in the regular season draw, Blackadder insists his Crusaders are not fazed the challenge stood before them.

"There is an unknown element given that we haven't played the Waratahs so far this year, but that goes for both teams," he claimed.

“We are just focused on being as prepared as we can be to put in the best performance we're capable of.

"We know we have the game of our lives ahead of us but are not daunted by the challenge, we are looking forward to it.”

Waratahs: 15 Folau, 14 Alofa, 13 Ashley-Cooper, 12 Beale, 11 Horne, 10 Foley, 9 Phipps; 1 Robinson, 2 Nau, 3 Kepu, 4 Potgieter, 5 Douglas, 6 Hoiles, 7 Hooper (capt), 8 Palu
Replacements (two to be omitted): 16 Latu, 17 Tilse, 18 Ryan, 19 Skelton, 20 Chapman, 21 McCutcheon, 22 McKibbin, 23 Naiyaravoro, 24 Carraro, 25 Betham

Crusaders: 15 Dagg, 14 Fonotia, 13 Crotty, 12 Carter, 11 Nadolo, 10 Slade, 9 Ellis; 1 Crockett, 2 Flynn, 3 O Franks, 4 Bird, 5 S Whitelock, 6 McCaw, 7 Todd, 8 Kieran Read (capt)
Replacements: 16 Funnell, 17 Moody, 18 Laulala, 19 Tupou, 20 Taufau, 21 Heinz, 22 Taylor, 23 McNicholl

Don't miss a second of the 2014 Super Rugby final with all the action live from 10:15am on Sky Sports 1HD!

Forthcoming Super Rugby Fixtures
TimeFixture
Super Rugby
Friday 13th February
Super Rugby
06:35Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels
08:40Brumbies vs Reds
17:10Lions vs Hurricanes
Saturday 14th February
06:35Blues vs Chiefs
15:05Sharks vs Cheetahs
17:05Bulls vs Stormers
Sunday 15th February
06:05Waratahs vs Western Force
Friday 20th February
06:35Chiefs vs Brumbies
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs
17:10Bulls vs Hurricanes
Saturday 21st February
06:35Highlanders vs Crusaders
08:40Reds vs Western Force
15:05Stormers vs Blues
17:10Sharks vs Lions
Friday 27th February
06:35Highlanders vs Reds
11:00Western Force vs Hurricanes
17:10Cheetahs vs Blues
Saturday 28th February
06:35Chiefs vs Crusaders
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies
15:05Bulls vs Sharks
17:10Lions vs Stormers
Friday 6th March
06:35Chiefs vs Highlanders
08:40Brumbies vs Western Force
Saturday 7th March
06:35Blues vs Lions
08:40Reds vs Waratahs

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com