Crusaders sink Lions for ninth Super Rugby title

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"It's going to be really interesting to see how he does in a big game".

The Crusaders made 180 tackles to the Lions' 115 and conceded 15 penalties to the visitors' six, indicating the pressure they were under at times.

Once the celebrations eventually die down and life resumes to near normality, you can bet that Robertson will be thinking of little else. It brings an end to Crockett's illustrious career with the 35-year-old prop, who played 202 games for the Crusaders and 71 Tests for the All Blacks, having announced this was his final season at this level.

Where does this leave every other team in the competition?

No wonder Crusaders coach Scott Robertson got a standing ovation minutes before fulltime.

Canterbury Crusaders flyhalf Richie Mo'unga's man-of-the-match performance in the Super Rugby final will add fuel to the debate as to whether he can supplant Beauden Barrett for the All Blacks' starting role.

Coach Scott Robertson, who performed a breakdance routine in front of his players to celebrate, has led the Crusaders to the title in each of his two years in charge.

He is loved by those outside the camp and even more by those within it.

Jantjies late penalty made it 20-6 but considering the possession and chances the Lions had in the first half, it was always going to be an uphill battle from there.

A year after travelling to Johannesburg to become the first team to cross the Indian Ocean and take the title, the Crusaders ran in four tries to the Lions' two to seal a comprehensive victory, and their first at home since Robbie Deans' side defeated the Waratahs in 2008.

Seta Tamanivalu of the Crusaders celebrates after scoring a try with David Havili
Seta Tamanivalu of the Crusaders celebrates after scoring a try with David Havili

The Lions' forward pack is formidable and it's rolling maul, steered by hooker Malcolm Marx, is the best in the tournament. "Not a lot of people enjoy doing it but the boys embraced it tonight".

"Everything we threw at them they stopped", Lions captain Warren Whiteley said.

"I think it will change in due course", he said.

The Crusaders are used to dynasties.

That left them as the side with the fourth-highest amount of log points (44) behind the Chiefs (49), Hurricanes (51) and Crusaders (63). "Not just with tries but also getting them field position". They look very ominous.

The Crusaders flyhalf, who was named man-of-the-match, slotted 17 points with the boot and provided the attacking spark for the Crusaders, who defended for much of the match and seized what scoring chances they had.

"What I like about Richie is that he is fearless on defence", Robertson told reporters. For us as group it depends how much you care.

The two moments that made the difference for the Lions came at crucial times, where centimetres lost by Jantjies caused a ripple on the scoreboard that was hard to contain.

They went without silverware for eight years under predecessor Todd Blackadder before Robertson sparked them into life last season. But we started here as favourites.

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