The Crusaders have staved off a mighty Hurricanes challenge to win their Super Rugby semi-final 30-26 and set up a home decider against the Jaguares.

Out-scored four tries to three in Christchurch on Saturday, the Crusaders found a way to remain on track for a third straight title, with five-eighth Richie Mo’unga once again a key figure.

Mo’unga scored 20 points, while winger Sevu Reece scored a double to push him clear as the competition’s leading try-scorer with 15.

It was enough to win a Kiwi derby thriller, quelling a Hurricanes side who were led by Ngani Laumape’s double and an inspiring display from halfback TJ Perenara, whose 127th game was a Hurricanes record.

Standing in the way of a 10th Crusaders title are the Jaguares after the Argentine side booked their maiden grand final appearance with a 39-7 demolition of the Brumbies in Buenos Aires in front of a crowd of 31,000. However, the Jaguares must slay the competition’s Goliath next Saturday in Christchurch.

80’ The referee misses Sam Whitelock playing the ball at the ruck and the Crusaders make another final. Congratulations @Hurricanesrugby #CRUvHUR

— Hurricanes Rugby (@Hurricanesrugby) June 29, 2019

The Crusaders have won 30 successive home matches and have never lost a home finals match. They are 23-from-23, with six of those wins coming over the Hurricanes.

The game came alive in the second spell after the Crusaders dominated the opening half but only led 13-7. Reece’s opening try from a Ryan Crotty cross-kick and Richie Mo’unga’s boot pushed them clear but momentum swung with Hurricanes tries either side of the break, to Laumape and winger Ben Lam.

Ryan Crotty ? Sevu Reece….Yah kidding! ?

— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) June 29, 2019

The teams alternated try for try over a compelling second 40 minutes, with scores to Mo’unga and Reece cancelled out by Laumape and Perenara, whose outrageous dummy from close range was bought, lifting his team to within a point with 19 minutes remaining.

Mo’unga’s third penalty gave the Crusaders a buffer but they needed all their defensive resilience over the closing minutes to keep the desperate Hurricanes out.

– AAP

WATCH: Knocked, episode one on the RugbyPass series Beyond 80 which focuses on the issue of concussion

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