Crusaders show killer instinct to beat Lions and win ninth Super title

Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has overseen his team win two consecutive Super Rugby titlesMore

Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has overseen his team win two consecutive Super Rugby titlesMore

There is no doubt the Lions had more than enough ball in the game, but it was what they did with it, the amount of mistakes they made and their options that made them get reduced to ordinary opposition in the face of a clinical and exceptionally good Crusaders team.

"I think we made the most tackles we have all year, which shows the quality of the game and to do it here for the first time in 10 years was special". I'm just glad we won a couple of key moments and scored when we needed to.

The victory was the Crusaders 21st straight finals win in Christchurch.

According to Planet Rugby, Tamanivalu did a good job to shut out Hurricanes Ben Lam in the semi-final and again his presence will haunt the Lions after his 116-metre dash to score in the final previous year.

On the back of another exceptional performance from five-eighth Richie Mo'unga, the Crusaders scored four tries to two. "He beat about 20 defenders, he kicked the majority of his goals, he was tough on defence, and he was behind a Rolls Royce pack", said Robertson with a nod to Steve Hansen's comment during the week.

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Lions captain Warren Whiteley said his team could be prove of their effort despite coming up short again, but praised the Crusaders' incredible defence.

A devastating move freed Drummond to cross under the posts at the other end as the Crusaders hit back, but the Lions attacked with ever more gusto and a sturdy home defence was hindered by Crotty's yellow card before Marx forged a route through on the left. This whole week we believed we could win this game and during the game, we also believed we were in it.

Scott Barrett's late try sealed the Lions fate and underlined just how hard it is nowadays for sides to win in New Zealand.

Rather than going to the openside, the Lions chose to play the blind and the decision backfired as the Crusaders rallied and defended their own line before forcing an error.

It was largely one way traffic from then on, as Mo'unga took control and enhanced his reputation as the in form fly half in New Zealand. It was clearly a weapon of the Lions that the Crusaders had done their homework on, and the visitors were simply never able to get their maul working.

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Mo'unga dispatched a penalty following the scrum and soon created a second home try, claiming a Jantjies kick and driving an attack that ended with Havili lunging over.

Crusaders Richie Mo'unga holds the trophy aloft. "It has to be about the team, just about the team and stick to what works for us".

After repeated infringements, All Blacks centre Ryan Crotty was sent to the sinbin in the 67th minute for cynical play.

Lions Hooker Malcolm Marx barged across for his 12th try of the season but Crusaders lock Scott Barrett effectively sealed the result with a 70th minute try. But over the last three weeks we've trended towards our defence - that's what wins finals and the attitude around that tonight was unreal.

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