Boasting 11 All Blacks in their starting XV, the Crusaders soundly defeated the Johannesburg based Lions in the Super Rugby Final of 2018.
It was somewhat of a repeat of the 2017 Final when the Crusaders had also defeated the Lions, only the 2017 win had been achieved at Ellis Park, Johannesburg. This win was sweet for the Christchurch based Crusaders, because it was achieved in front of their home fans at their ‘temporary’ stadium. Rugby League Park, (AMI Stadium and Orangetheory Stadium have been recent names).
It took until the 19th minute for wing Seta Tamanivalu to crash over. David Havili followed twelve minutes later running into a gap when the Lions defence was back pedalling. Richie Mo’unga was enjoying superb kicking form and by halftime had pushed the Crusaders out to a handy 23 – 6 lead.
The Lions fought back into the game in the second spell with two tries of their own, but the Crusaders also scored twice more. Scott Barrett’s try in the 70th minute while Ryan Crotty was in the sin bin defined the Crusaders dominance.
Richie Mo’unga was named man-of-the-match.
After the game the Crusaders celebrated by chanting “Back to back, back to back…”
Sam Whitelock (c), Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Scott Barrett, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Matt Todd, Kieran Read, Bryn Hall, Richie Mo’unga, David Havili, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge. Substitutes Andrew Makalio, Tim Perry, Michael Ala’alatoa, Luke Romano, Pete Samu, Mitchell Drummond, Mitchell Hunt, Braydon Ennor.
Coach Scott Robertson.