Waratahs to meet Crusaders in Super Rugby final
New South Wales outhalf Bernard Foley shines in semi-final win over Brumbies
Bernard Foley (centre) of the Waratahs celebrates with Kurtley Beale (left) and Alofa Alofa (right) after scoring a try during the Super Rugby semi-final against the Brumbies at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images
Foley finished off a breakaway move that started deep inside the Waratahs own half four minutes from time to seal a home final next weekend against the Canterbury Crusaders, who beat South Africa’s Sharks 38-6 in the earlier semi-final.
The Waratahs, who lost both their previous finals to the Crusaders in 2005 and 2008, had been set on the path to victory by opportunistic tries from winger Alofa Alofa and centre Kurtley Beale at the start of each half.
The Brumbies, beaten finalists last year, played a full part in a hugely physical contest but were only able to cross once through winger Henry Speight in the 31st minute and failed to score after the break despite dominating possession.
Crusaders methodically ground down the Sharks to score four second half tries and canter to a 38-6 victory in Christchurch earlier on Saturday.
Captain Kieran Read, wingers Nemani Nadolo and Johnny McNicholl, scrumhalf Willi Heinz and flanker Matt Todd all scored tries for the homeside, who dominated throughout and held the visitors scoreless in the second half.
“Extremely satisfied, knowing we are going to the big stage next week is an awesome feeling,” Read said in a televised interview. “We are really pleased with that performance. We started well, played at a high tempo early on and put them under pressure.”