Getty Images

Record win seals Crusaders' Super final place

A record 16th win of the Super Rugby season saw the Crusaders book their place in next week's final at the expense of the Chiefs.

The Crusaders had plenty to celebrate on Saturday as they beat the Chiefs 27-13 to reach a 12th Super Rugby final, setting a record of 16 victories in the same season in the process.

Scott Robertson's side have dominated the 2017 competition with 14 wins in the regular season and the Chiefs could not halt their march towards an eighth title.

Early on the Chiefs enjoyed plenty of possession at AMI Stadium, but they were undone by the clinical Crusaders as Bryn Hall grabbed the first try after a thrilling team move.

Tim Nanai-Williams thought he had dragged the Chiefs back into the match before the break but his try was ruled out, and that proved costly for Dave Rennie's men.

A four-point lead at half time quickly grew to 16 by the hour as Israel Dagg touched down thanks to some quick thinking from Richie Mo'unga, and Seta Tamanivalu barged his way through.

Tamanivalu added his second of the night to complete the win and secure a first final appearance since 2014 for the Crusaders.

A Mo'unga penalty gave the Crusaders a 13th-minute lead after they had soaked up early Chiefs pressure, and three minutes later Hall had extended their advantage.

Good hands from the Crusaders' backs began a flowing move from inside their own half before Dagg spotted a gap and broke for the line, he was held up but was able to hand off to Hall who ran in to score.

The first-half's turning point came as the Chiefs thought they had got back into the contest as Nanai-Williams collected James Lowe's delicate kick to score, however the television match official deemed he was not in control and had knocked the ball on.

Damian McKenzie eventually got them on the board but the Chiefs failed to make late pressure pay, the Crusaders resolute in their defence to hold a 10-6 lead at half-time.

A tight encounter quickly turned the Crusaders' way after the restart as the hosts ran in three unanswered tries to keep their sensational run going for another week.

Eight minutes into the second half Mo'unga's quick thinking gave Dagg his score. 

Under pressure from the Crusaders, Chiefs wing Lowe looked to kick for touch having side-stepped Mo'unga, however the fly-half leapt back at his opponent to knock the ball out of his hands and into the welcoming arms of Dagg who had his easiest score of the season.

Wing Tamanivalu then took the game out of the Chiefs' reach with two tries that showed his strength and dexterity.

His first came after a barn-storming run that brushed off three challenges in the 22, and he doubled his tally with a diving touch down in the corner.

Brodie Retallick restored some pride for the Chiefs with a late score after good work from Anton Lienart-Brown, but it was too little too late for the visitors as the Crusaders wrote their name into the history books.