sport

Sharks mauling satisfies Read

Crusaders try-scorer Kieran Read says their 38-6 mauling of the Sharks on Saturday was an extremely satisfying way to reach the Super Rugby final.

IRB World Player of the Year Read chalked up the first of five tries as the Christchurch-based franchise outmuscled and outclassed the Sharks in front of a partisan AMI Stadium crowd.

Wingers Nemani Nadolo and Johnny McNicholl were also on the scoreboard, as were scrum-half Willi Heinz and flanker Matt Todd, while Dan Carter kicked 11 points as the home side dominated throughout on their way to an 11th Super Rugby final.

The seven-time champions will face the New South Wales Waratahs in next Saturday's showpiece event and All Black No 8 Read is relishing the prospect of another Super Rugby final.

"Extremely satisfied, knowing we are going to the big stage next week is an awesome feeling," said Read in the aftermath of their emphatic victory. "We are really pleased with that performance.

"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."

The Sharks' kicking-based territory game was executed badly with the ball either finding Crusaders' players in plenty of space to run it back, going out on the full or in one case by fly-half Pat Lambie, rolling dead in goal.

Israel Dagg, Carter and Colin Slade capitalised by pinning the Sharks inside their own half or by playing at pace and stretching the visitors across the field, with Read prominent in his characteristic bursts down the wide channels.

It was a display that left Sharks captain Bismarck du Plessis despondent and the Springbok international admits they simply could not carry out their game-plan.

"Everything we worked on the last two weeks, we just couldn't do, we are extremely disappointed with our performance," he said.

"We didn't play in the right areas and couldn't do what we worked on."