Crusaders keep play-off hopes alive

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SUPER SATURDAY WRAP: The Crusaders have kept their hopes of playing in the Super Rugby Pacific play-offs alive with an incredible 29-27 win over Kiwi rivals the Blues at Christchurch.

With the eighth-placed Fijian Drua sitting six points above the defending champions on the ladder, the Crusaders needed to win to at least have a chance to crack the top eight.

They hadn't won since a 39-0 win over the Melbourne Rebels on April 26, but Noah Hotham and Chay Fihaki were among the standouts during the hard-fought win at Christchurch.

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Elsewhere, Moana Pasifika have put the NSW Waratahs out of their misery, officially ending the Australian's finals hopes with a rousing 27-12 victory in Auckland.

Even the Waratahs had conceded it was "ridiculous" they could still make the playoffs after winning only two of 12 matches in 2024.

But Saturday's four-tries-to-two defeat left the last-placed Tahs with no mathematical hope of scraping into the finals.

Instead they must beat the Queensland Reds in their last game of the season next Friday at Allianz Stadium to avoid sending off outgoing coach Darren Coleman with the dreaded wooden spoon.

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*More to follow...

All Saturday's results:

Crusades 29-27 Blues


The scorers:

For Crusaders:
Tries: Blackadder, Fihaki, Lio-Willie,Hotham
Cons: Burke, Fihaki 2
Pen: Fihaki

For Blues:
Tries: Tu'ungafasi 2, Lam 2
Cons: Plummer 2
Pen: Plummer

Teams:

Crusaders: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Chay Fihaki, 13 Levi Aumua, 12 David Havili, 11 Sevu Reece, 10 Fergus Burke, 9 Noah Hotham, 8 Christian Lio-Willie, 7 Ethan Blackadder, 6 Cullen Grace, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Antonio Shalfoon, 3 Fletcher Newell, 2 Codie Taylor (captain), 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 George Bell, 17 George Bower, 18 Tamaiti Williams, 19 Jamie Hannah, 20 Tom Christie, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Taha Kemara, 23 Dallas McLeod.

Blues: 15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Mark Tele'a, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Corey Evans, 11 AJ Lam, 10 Harry Plummer, 9 Taufa Funaki, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Adrian Choat, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Sam Darry, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Ofa Tu'ungafasi.
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Joshua Fusitu'a, 18 PJ Sheck, 19 Josh Beehre, 20 Cameron Suafoa, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Cole Forbes, 23 Caleb Tangitau.

Referee: James Doleman
Assistant referees: Jono Bredin, Fraser Hannon
TMO: Chris Hart

Moana Pasifika 27-12 Waratahs


The scorers: '

For Moana Pasifika:
Tries: Kepu, Inisi 2, Taumoefolau
Cons: Havili 2
Pen: Havili

For Waratahs:
Tries: Perese, Gleeson
Con: Bowen

Teams:

Moana: 15 Danny Toala, 14 Fine Inisi, 13 Pepesana Patafilo, 12 Julian Savea, 11 Neria Fomai, 10 William Havili, 9 Aisea Halo, 8 Lotu Inisi, 7 Sione Havili Talitui, 6 Jacob Norris, 5 Allan Craig, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 Samiuela Moli, 1 Abraham Pole.
Replacements: 16 Tomasi Maka, 17 Tevita Langi, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Ola Tauelangi, 20 Alamanda Motuga, 21 Siaosi Nginingini, 22 Christian Lealiifano, 23 Jenry Taefu.

Waratahs: 15 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Joey Walton, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Dylan Pietsch, 10 Tane Edmed, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Langi Gleeson, 7 Charlie Gamble, 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Hugh Sinclair, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Brad Amituanai, 2 Jay Fonokalafi, 1 Harry Lloyd.
Replacements: 16 Ben Sugars, 17 Lewis Ponini, 18 Mike Scott, 19 Miles Amatosero, 20 Fergus Lee-Warner, 21 Jack Grant, 22 Jack Bowen, 23 Vuate Karawelevu.

Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant referees: Reuben Keane, George Myers
TMO: Brett Cronan

Sources: AAP and Rugbypass

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