Sharks power into semifinals

Updated: July 22, 2012

The Sharks produced one of the Vodacom Super Rugby performances of the season as they powered to a 30-17 win over the Reds in Brisbane that books them a semifinal meeting with the Stormers in Cape Town next Saturday.

The three-try-to-one triumph, which featured periods of brilliant attacking as well as brave, committed defence, means that the final of this year’s competition will be a showdown between South Africa and New Zealand.

The Crusaders will travel to Hamilton for Friday’s first semifinal, and the winner will then wait for Saturday’s result before knowing whether they have to travel to South Africa to face the Stormers or stay at home and host the Sharks.

Crusaders talismen Dan Carter and Richie McCaw produced excellent performances as their team hammered the Vodacom Bulls 28-13 in their Super Rugby Qualifier in Christchurch on Saturday morning.

Carter scored 23 points against a Bulls side that was never in the game, and never turned up with any sort of purpose as the scoreline eventually flattered them on a chilly evening.

McCaw was devastating in the loose, and rallied his side to dominate the Bulls in all phases, so much so that for the first 40 minutes the Bulls hardly had a ball to attack with.

In the end the pressure got to the visitors, whose kicking game was woefully off-key and gave away no less than 12 penalties, mostly within range for Carter’s big boot.