26 Jun 2011

Crusaders beat Sharks in Nelson

8:01 am on 26 June 2011

The Canterbury Crusaders overwhelmed the Sharks 36-8 in Nelson to reach the Super rugby semi-finals for the 10th successive season.

Tries from centre Sonny Bill Williams, captain Kieran Read and prop Ben Franks as well as 19 points from the boot of Dan Carter proved more than enough to overhaul an early Sharks lead.

The seven-times champion Crusaders have to play all their matches on the road this season because of the 22 February earthquake.

It was the team's fourth game of the season at Trafalgar Park and a crowd of about 12,000 turned out to cheer them on.

The Crusaders leave for South Africa on Sunday where they will play the Stormers in a semi-final next weekend.

Their victory also sends the Auckland Blues to Brisbane to meet the Queensland Reds in next Saturday's other semi-final.

The Blues defeated the New South Wales Waratahs 26-13 in their first round playoff on Friday.