Crusaders rise to the occasion as lineout attack key to Super Rugby Pacific triumph

Crusaders rise to the occasion as lineout attack key to Super Rugby Pacific triumph


Crusaders limit Blues to a single try as Sevu Reece puts the finishing touch on a deserved victory in the Super Rugby Pacific final.

When the Crusaders sense a weakness, there is no-one better in professional rugby at going for the jugular.

And so it proved in a decisive Super Rugby Pacific final performance at Eden Park on Saturday night as the Red and Blacks turned the screws at set-piece time to engineer a 21-7 victory that continued their remarkable run under master coach Scott Robertson.

The Crusaders won their 13th Super Rugby title (including their pair of Aotearoa triumphs), and sixth on the bounce under Robertson, with a clinical takedown of the previously rampant Blues in front of a capacity crowd of just under 45,srcsrcsrc in Auckland.

They did so behind a lineout that was merciless in its dominance, winning 1src of the Blues’ 19 throws to completely spin the home side into disarray, a scrum that also worked some crucial ascendancy and a breakdown effort that laid a mighty foundation.

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Blues coach Leon MacDonald lamented afterwards it was “as though they had our playbook”, and skipper Scott Barrett confirmed, as is the Crusaders’ way, some extra effort had gone into an aspect of the game they felt was there for the taking.

“Finals footy is a game about pressure,” said Barrett afterwards of a huge effort led by Sam Whitelock, Cullen

…. to be continued
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