June 11, 2022
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Sowakula’s try denied, Crusaders in final

Fiji-born loose forward Pita Gus Sowakula's try was denied which saw Crusaders beat the Chiefs by 20-7 in the first semi-final of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific final and have qualified to the finals.
 
The 12-times Super Rugby champions took an early lead after a penalty from Richie Mo'unga while the Chiefs were reduced to 14 men after Quinn Tupaea was penalised for a foul play and Crusaders were awarded their second penalty which Mo’unga booted successfully.
 
In the 12th minute of the match, a set up pass from Luke Jacobson was beautifully taken by Sowakula but going over, he dropped the ball before touching the try line and the TMO gave 'No Try'.
 
The Crusaders were later reduced to 14 men also after Pablo Matera was flashed a yellow card for dangerous play yet they stayed firm and Cullen Grace scored the first try of the match and Mo'unga converted.
 
Two minutes later, the Chiefs responded with a try through Angus Ta'avao while Bryn Gatland dived the conversion right through the post.
 
The Crusaders were reduced to 14 men directly after Matera came off the naughty chair and was charged for shoulder and head dangerous play.
 
A lineout from Will Jordan was handled carefully by Cullen and he dived for his second try while Mo'unga was too good with his kicking and maintained the 20-7 lead at halftime.
 
The second half seemed more like a stale match with Chiefs pushing too hard yet they could not go past the heavy Crusaders defence and Mo'unga missed the last penalty.
 
By Romeka Romena   


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