The Crusaders won the inaugural Super Rugby Pacific title courtesy of a 21-7 victory against the Blues in Saturday’s final at Eden Park in Auckland.
The home side were their own worst enemy as they committed a plethora of unforced errors which meant the Christchurch-based outfit were the dominant side from start to finish, and they held a 13-0 lead at half-time.
Although the Crusaders dominated the possession and territorial stakes, they could not round off during the game’s early stages and they led 6-0 by the half-hour mark after Richie Mo’unga succeeded with a drop-goal and a penalty.
Just before half-time, Bryn Hall went over for the opening try after Leicester Fainga’anuku and Pablo Matera did well in the build-up and the Crusaders had their tails up when Mo’unga added the extras.
After the break, the Crusaders took further control of proceedings when Mo’unga succeeded with his second penalty in the 46th minute but the Blues narrowed the gap just before the hour-mark when Finlay Christie crossed for their only try which was converted by Stephen Perofeta.
The Crusaders finished stronger, however, and secured victory when Sevu Reece crossed for their second try in the game’s dying moments, after Sam Nock made a defensive error close to his try-line.
Video credit: Super Rugby Pacific
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