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New South Wales Waratahs to meet Canterbury Crusaders in the Super Rugby final

The New South Wales Waratahs will play the Canterbury Crusaders in the Super Rugby final after an impressive 26-8 win over the ACT Brumbies at Sydney on Saturday.

New South Wales Waratah's flyhalf Bernard Foley dives over to score the clinching try against the ACT Brumbies in their Super Rugby semi-final rugby match at Sydney on July 26, 2014. William West / AFP
New South Wales Waratah's flyhalf Bernard Foley dives over to score the clinching try against the ACT Brumbies in their Super Rugby semi-final rugby match at Sydney on July 26, 2014. William West / AFP

The New South Wales Waratahs will play the Canterbury Crusaders in the Super Rugby final after an impressive 26-8 win over the ACT Brumbies at Sydney on Saturday.

The Waratahs needed an immense defensive effort to hold out the Brumbies in a torrid Australian derby before clinching victory with a brilliant team try in the final minutes.

They face seven-time champion Crusaders in Sydney in next week’s final after the Kiwis beat South Africa’s Coastal Sharks 38-6 in the other semi-final, at Christchurch.

While the Waratahs outscored the Brumbies three tries to one, their defence which won the game after keeping the two-time winners scoreless in the second half.

The Brumbies were camped on their try-line for long periods in the second half, trailing 16-8 before the Waratahs clinched victory with a try to fly-half Bernard Foley four minutes from time.

Israel Folau and Rob Horne combined before giant lock Will Skelton swatted away two tackles to send Foley racing away to score the determining try.

“We’ve talked about taking opportunities, but we had to make them tonight, and we came up with some tries that we built under pressure and we take that,” Waratahs skipper Michael Hooper said.

“They’re a tough outfit, but we’re in the final and I’m stoked.”

“We had more than enough opportunities inside their quarter to come away with a lot of points, but you have to give credit to the way the NSW guys held on,” said Brumbies captain Ben Mowen, who was playing his last game before heading off to France to play with Montpellier.

“They defended really well, they dismantled our maul, which has been a real strength of ours, and they’re obviously the best defensive side in the competition for a reason.”

The Crusaders scored four unanswered tries in the second half to outclass the Sharks

Captain Kieran Read scored the only try of the first half and Nemani Nadolo, Willi Heinz, Jimmy McNicholl and Matt Todd touched down in the second.

Dan Carter kicked two conversions and three penalties for 13 points, while fly-half Patrick Lambie provided the Sharks’ only points with two penalties.

“I’m extremely satisfied,” Read said. “Knowing that we’re going to the big stage next weekend is an awesome feeling and I’m really pleased about the performance out there tonight.

“We started really well and we were able to put a bit of pressure on them early. We played a pretty high tempo early that set the scene, and sometimes when you travel, it’s hard to adjust, and we actually caught them early.”

“It’s extremely disappointing,” Sharks captain Bismarck du Plessis said.

“Everything we worked on during the last two weeks ... we couldn’t field the high balls, couldn’t play in the right areas.”

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