The Crusaders have won the Super 12 five times (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005) as well as the first Super 14 (2006) and the Super 14 of 2008.
The Crusaders won their first three finals (1998 Auckland, 1999 Dunedin & 2000 Canberra) away from home. The Bulls (2007) and Highlanders (2015) are the only other sides to have won a Super rugby final playing away from home. The Crusaders boast the highest winning percentage away from home of any side in Super rugby history.
In 2002, the Crusaders won all 13 matches the team played in the competition, becoming the first side to make a clean sweep of the Super rugby season. No other side has achieved this feat in the time since.
As well as winning the title on seven occasions, the Crusaders also made the final in 2003, 2004, 2011 and 2014. The franchise’s eleven appearances in the final is easily a record, being five finals more than the next best performed side, the Brumbies, have achieved.
The Crusaders have also won nine of the 11 semi-finals in which they have featured.
Between February 2004 and May 2007, the Crusaders won 26 consecutive home matches. This was easily a competition record, eclipsing the previous record of 20 games, established by Graham Henry’s (Auckland) Blues between 1996 and 1998.
The 541 points scored by the Crusaders in the 2005 Super 12 is the most achieved by any side in a Super rugby season.
The 71 tries scored by the Crusaders in 2005 was also a season record for any team. The new record was achieved in a season that was the fourth leanest, in terms of the number of tries that were scored, among the 10 years of the Super 12 decade.
A number of competition records were smashed during the Crusaders’ 96-19 win over the NSW Waratahs at Jade in 2002: most points by one side, most tries (14), most conversions (13) and the then biggest winning margin (77). Incredibly all of this was achieved in a contest that was supposedly between the sides ranked one and two on the points table for that season.
In 2007 the Crusaders became the first (and so far only) side to register 100 competition wins.
In 2009 the Crusaders made the semi-finals (against the Bulls in Pretoria) despite winning only one game out of their first five matches of the season.
In 2010 the Crusaders played the Bulls in the semi-finals in South Africa once again, though this time the match was played in Soweto.
In 2011 the Crusaders played all matches on the road following the devastating Christchurch Earthquakes, which destroyed their home ground at AMI Stadium. The Crusaders managed to play their way to the final, losing to the Reds at Suncorp Stadium in the final.
In 2014 the Crusaders again made the final, after defeating the Sharks in Christchurch in the semi-final. The Crusaders went down to the Waratahs at ANZ Stadium in Sydney with time up on the clock as Wallaby first-five Bernard Foley slotted a 40m penalty.
BNZ Crusaders Individual Highlights
Andrew Mehrtens was widely acknowledged as the most dominant player of his era. Mehrtens’ career statistics back up that claim, with the Crusaders first-five-eighths finishing his time in New Zealand as the competition’s leading point-scorer with 990 Super rugby points.
Dan Carter’s haul of 221 points in the inaugural Super 14 represented a new record by an individual in a Super rugby season, beating the 206 achieved by Andrew Mehrtens in 1998. Carter went on to record 1,708 points for the Crusaders, becoming the highest point scorer for the club surpassing Andrew Mehrtens.
Rico Gear’s 15 tries during the 2005 Crusade tied ACT Brumbies’ winger Joe Roff for the most scored by one player during a Super rugby season.
The Crusaders’ success in 2008 was Robbie Deans’s fifth title as the team’s head coach.
Reuben Thorne has appeared in nine finals, seven of which ended with him on the winning side. Thorne only made his Super rugby debut in the last game of the 1997 competition - so he has effectively only been involved for one match more than 10 seasons of Super rugby, yet he has been to the final nine times. Prior to the start of 2007, Thorne had missed just five matches for the Crusaders since his debut in 1997, playing 73 games consecutively between 2001 and 2006.
Prior to missing the 2006 final, Caleb Ralph featured in a phenomenal 103 consecutive matches for the Crusaders after joining the franchise from the Blues at the start of 1999.
In 2010 Richie McCaw reached the 100-cap milestone for the Crusaders.
Eleven players have now featured in over 100 matches for the Crusaders – flanker Reuben Thorne (129), wing Caleb Ralph (135 Super rugby caps, 126 for the Crusaders), Fullback Leon McDonald (127 Super rugby matches, 122 for the Crusaders). Prop Greg Somerville (115),lock Chris Jack (110) and halfback Justin Marshall (105). Richie McCaw achieved his milestone against the Stormers in Cape Town and to date has 120 Super Rugby caps for the Crusaders. Corey Flynn is about to become the most capped Crusader and has currently achieved 128 caps while prop Wyatt Crockett has 115 caps. Dan Carter has played 116 Super Rugby matches for the Crusaders scoring an impressive 1421 points.Andy Ellis is the most recent Crusader to achieve 100 caps against the Blues and is currently on 100.