The Crusaders have taken out their seventh straight Super Rugby title, their second Super Rugby Pacific title, and their 14th Super Rugby title since the competition began.
Our boys travelled north to Hamilton for a showdown versus the Chiefs at FMG Stadium Waikato on 24 June. It was the big one, against a side with only one L against their name this season – the clear in-form team.
Hype and ceremony preceded kick off before a final for the ages. It was a grinding showcase of strength and skill, a contest where the competition’s two top teams proved why they made it to the last hurdle, just one destined to cross the finish line.
The lead swapped between Crusaders and Chiefs a handful of times, some pivotal moments keeping both sets of fans on the edge of their seats – especially the sold out crowd who bought a ticket.
Five tries were scored, two for the Chiefs, three for the Crusaders. Conversions were made and missed, as were penalties. Tries were scored and disallowed, cards were handed out and decisions questioned regardless of the clear high quality of refereering.
It all ended with a Codie Taylor try and a Richie Mo’unga conversion, a penalty moments later sealing the deal on another Super Rugby chapter.
With the sweetness of victory came the bitterness of farewell. The time had finally come to say goodbye to some legends of club – Scott ‘Razor’ Robertson, Scott Hansen, Sam Whitelock, Richie Mo’unga and Leicester Fainga’anuku. Huge holes left by men who gave their everything to the red and black while here.
For now, we celebrate our victories, we polish the trophy and return it to its plinth, and we recuperate after a testing season.
Until 2024, when we go again. #CrusadeOn