Geography can be a cruel thing. My apartment in Los Angeles has a northern exposure, which means I cannot get Direct TV, which means I cannot get any Southern Hemisphere Rugby. (Unless it's rugby league on Fox) All of this means that whatever I have seen of Super Rugby this season has been either on You Tube, or the New Zealand Herald.
As luck would have it, we have a place called the Springbok Bar and Grill http://www.springbokbarandgrill.comthat is over in Van Nuys, where the South African ownership tries to get some Super Rugby on TV when they are open-the problem is that most of the matches are in the middle of the night here on the left coast, which means even the Bok cannot show too many games.
As luck would have it, when I noticed that the start time of the Crusaders-Sharks Super Rugby Semi-final would take place at half past midnight here on the left coast. This gave me a chance to actually watch a game.
I expected a few South African expats in LA to show up to watch the Sharks try to replicate an earlier season win in Christchurch. I think the SoCal Saffas knew the Sharks just would not have it in them. I was the only person there to watch the game.
What I saw on a super-large screen TV was an utter mauling. The Crusaders, playing in front of a full house on a cold night in Christchurch, just did not let their foot off the pedal. They dominated possession, territory, the line outs…hell, you name it. The Sharks did not look like they were going to get a whiff of the try line. Crusader pressure paid off early as Kieran Read scored a nice try after breaking a tackle.
Nadolo, wearing the 11 shirt for the Crusaders played a helluva match for the Crusaders. He ran hard all night whenever he had ball in hand.
Patrick Lamby, on the other hand, did not have a great night either with ball in hand or kicking for the Sharks.
Crusader dominance was capped off by Todd scoring on a totally dominant maul by the Crusaders-an homage to a front line who had played an utterly dominant match.
From what I saw last night, I think this Crusader team can go to Sydney and beat the Waratahs, and win back the Super Rugby title-which they have won a record 7 times already. In watching the 38-6 drubbing, I think after two years of the Chiefs winning the Super Rugby title, I think the Super Rugby title will stay in Kiwi hands.