1998: The Start of Something – Crusaders vs Blues – 13-20
The Blues had proven themselves as the dominant Super Rugby force since the competitions’s inception and had reached their third consecutive final. Todd Blackadder’s Crusader men were out to stop the threepeat and make their own mark on the fledgeling competition.
A new and historic chapter was written by Blackadder, Smith, Marshall and co when the final whistle blew. Crusaders 20. Blues 13. The seeds of a Dynasty had been sewed.
1999: Back to Back – Crusaders vs Highlanders 24-19
An Andrew Mehrtens dropped goal in injury time gives the Crusaders a vital 30-28 win over the Bulls at Pretoria. Had the Crusaders lost they would have been out of finals contention. Five weeks later they are crowned as Super 12 champions again after edging out the Highlanders 24-19 in an all-South Island (New Zealand) final in Dunedin.
The Crusaders were becoming a force to be reckoned with
2000: The First Three-Peat – Crusaders vs Brumbies 20-19
A penalty goal three minutes from time hands the Crusaders their third straight title after a 20-19 win over the ACT Brumbies in a pulsating final at Canberra. Crusaders skipper Todd Blackadder is announced as All Black captain for 2000 on the flight back to Christchurch after the match.
The turn of the millennium belonged to the Crusaders
2002: The Invincibles – Crusaders vs Brumbies 31-13
During the 2002 season, the Crusaders beat the Waratahs 96-19, scoring 14 tries, in a final round match between the teams who were ranked one and two on the point’s table. Crusaders rebrand and remove the pre-fix 'Canterbury' to better reflect the region the Club represents - the 'top of the South Island' and the six provincial unions of the club; Buller, Canterbury, Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, Tasman & West Coast unions.
A convincing 31-13 win over the ACT Brumbies in the final enables the Crusaders to become the first side to win all 13 matches of a Super 12 season, on the way to claiming the team’s fourth title in five years. Reuben Thorne is named as All Black captain after the match.
2005: McCaw’s First Title as Captain – Crusaders vs Waratahs 35-25
At the start of the season, Richie McCaw is announced as the new Crusaders Captain. The Crusaders end the Super 12 era in style, beating the NSW Waratahs 35-25 in their seventh final appearance of the decade, to secure their fifth championship.
As a reward, SANZAR decrees that the Crusaders can keep the Super 12 trophy, with a new one to be commissioned for Super 14.
2006: The Fog Final – Crusaders vs Hurricanes 19-12
The first Super 14 title falls the same way as five previous Super 12 titles did, after the Crusaders overpower the Hurricanes 19-12 in surreal surroundings amid the thick fog that enveloped Jade Stadium.
Casey Laulala scored the only try of the game during the second half in a contest that the crowd, commentators and broadcast viewers missed much of the action due to low lying sea fog in Christchurch at the old Jade Stadium.
2008: Farewell to Robbie Deans – Crusaders vs Waratahs 20-12
Crusaders Coach Robbie Deans finished his tenure in style winning against the Waratahs in front of a home crowd in Christchurch. Dan Carter’s boot was instrumental, kicking 4 penalties and one conversion for a total of 14 points for the match. The Crusaders claimed their 7th title in 11 years.
2017: The Razor Era – Crusaders vs Lions 25-17
Scott Robertson leads the Crusaders to their first title since 2008 and kicked off what would turn into a run of six consecutive titles.
Current players Richie Mo’unga, David Havili, Jack Goodhue, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Codie Taylor and Joe Moody all earned starts in the final. Who could have predicted what the next few years would bring for the side.
2018: Lion Tamers – Crusaders vs Lions 38-17
The Crusaders go back-to-back and win their 9th Super Rugby title at home in Christchurch, defeating the Lions 38-17 in a repeat of the 2017 final.
The road to the final saw the Crusaders defeat the Sharks and Hurricanes in the Quarter and Semi-Final respectively. The title win was the first back to back title win since the Chiefs in 2012 & 2013.
2019: The Second Three-Peat – Crusaders vs Jaguares 19-3
The Crusaders complete their second three-peat, beating the Jaguares at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch.
10 titles to the Crusaders in their 25th season of Super Rugby! The contest was hotly contested and remains the lowest scoring Super Final.
2020: The Covid Season – Crusaders Win (Round Robin Tournament Only)
After the season is put on hold due to Covid-19, the Crusaders emerge from lockdown and win Super Rugby Aotearoa for the clubs 11th title and fourth in a row!
2021: Unbroken at Home – Crusaders vs Chiefs 24-13
The Crusaders win their 5th title in a row with Captain Scott Barrett lifting Tū Kōtahi Aotearoa aloft after beating the Chiefs 24-13 at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch.
Codie Taylor finishes as the season’s top try scorer with 7, whereas Will Jordan and Sevu Reece shared second place with the Highlanders Jona Nareki with 5 apiece.
2022: The Garden of Eden – Crusaders vs Blues 21-7
The Crusaders win their 6th title in a row in front of a sold out Eden Park, defeating the Blues 21-7. The final was held at Eden Park in Auckland. Weather conditions were wet with persistent drizzle.
It is thought to be the first major rugby union final where both sides have been captained by brothers, with Beauden Barrett captaining the Blues and Scott Barrett captaining the Crusaders. Two other sets of brothers also partook in the fixture, with the Goodhue brothers (Jack for the Crusaders and Josh for the Blues) and the Ioane brothers (Akira and Rieko both for the Blues) joining the Barrett brothers in the fixture.
A kick stabbed through by Argentine International Pablo Matera bounces favourably for Crusaders wing Sevu Reece who pounces and scores late in the second half to push the result beyond doubt and give the Crusaders their 6th consecutive title and 13th in total.