Richie Mo’unga drove a resolute and medical Canterbury Crusaders across the discipline as they beat
The Crusaders fly half, who was named man-of-the-match, slotted 17 factors with the boot and supplied the attacking spark for the Crusaders, who defended for a lot of the match and seized what scoring possibilities they’d.
Not even a late yellow card to Ryan Crotty was capable of cease the Crusaders, who scored tries to exterior backs Seta Tamanivalu and David Havili, lock Scott Barrett and alternative scrumhalf Mitchell Drummond.
Joe Moody of the Crusaders lifts the Tremendous Rugby Trophy of their dressing room after their win
Flanker Cyle Brink and hooker Malcolm Marx scored tries for the Lions, who suffered their third successive closing defeat, having misplaced to the Wellington Hurricanes in 2016 and Crusaders final yr.
The Lions dominated territory and possession for a lot of the match however have been unable to show that into factors, whereas the Crusaders effectively struck after they had their alternatives to construct scoreboard stress.
‘The boys have been so calm underneath the stress. What number of phases did we defend for on our line,’ Crusaders coach Scott Robertson mentioned.
Richie Mo’unga of the Crusaders kicked 17 factors to encourage them to a Tremendous Rugby closing win
‘I believe we’ve got made extra tackles than we made all yr, so it reveals the standard of the sport was excessive.
‘Defence reveals how a lot you care. Defence gained it for us final yr and it did once more this yr.’
Elton Jantjies and Mo’unga traded penalties earlier than some laborious, straight working and fast ball by the Crusaders arrange house for Tamanivalu to cross in the correct nook 4 minutes after Mo’unga’s penalty.
The house aspect repeated the dose when Mo’unga prolonged the result in 13-Three earlier than Havili crossed after a searing counter assault from the flyhalf following a poor Jantjies kick had opened the sphere up.
Jantjies decreased the deficit to 20-6 shortly earlier than the break however Mo’unga prolonged it once more when he slotted his third penalty within the 43rd minute.
Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson celebrates their victory with a breakdance on the pitch
(L to R) Ryan Crotty, Matt Todd and Codie Taylor of the Crusaders pose with the trophy
The Lions continued to hammer on the Crusaders to the purpose that by the point Brink had smashed his manner via two tackles and ran 25 metres to cut back the deficit to 23-13 the tide appeared to have turned.
The Crusaders, nonetheless, regrouped and swept again downfield with some excellent interaction that put Drummond over to provide them a 30-13 lead with little underneath 20 minutes remaining.
Whereas Marx scored his 12th strive of the season shortly after Crotty was sinbinned for a cynical skilled foul, the Crusaders ensured there was no probability of a fightback when a searing run from winger George Bridge following a fast lineout on midway arrange Barrett’s strive.
‘A bit gutted, however I am simply happy with each particular person who gave it every part on the market,’ Lions captain Warren Whiteley mentioned.
‘Credit score to Sam and his crew. They have been unbelievable. The whole lot we threw at them they stopped. We tried every part, threw the kitchen sink at them and so they deserve this win.’
Sam Whitelock (C) captain of the Crusaders celebrates with a sword on the pitch