Crusaders are one of 'most successful' sides

Sun, 06 Aug 2017 07:21

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Crusaders were feted Sunday as "one of the most successful sporting franchises" as New Zealanders put aside provincial loyalties to praise the eight-time Super Rugby champions.

The Crusaders' 25-17 victory over the Lions in Johannesburg was the first time a team had crossed the Indian Ocean to win a final in South Africa.

It was also only the second time a team had won the championship on foreign soil after the Crusaders beat the Brumbies in Canberra in the 2000 final.

New Zealand Herald writer Liam Napier pointed out the Crusaders had everything stacked against them in terms of travel, altitude and crowd.

"Harnessing the character of a city that has endured so much pain, the Crusaders defied it all," Napier said, recalling the devastating 2011 earthquakes in the Crusaders' home base of Christchurch.

"For that reason alone the hat must be tipped to one of the most successful sporting franchises,"

The game was watched in New Zealand in the early hours of Sunday and locals took to talkback radio and online discussions to express their delight.

All Blacks and Springboks hailed the Crusaders on social media.

"Well done to the @crusadersrugby," tweeted former Crusader and All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter.

"Only one loss all year, Congrats lads @crusadersrugby," added Sonny Bill Williams, while Springbok lock Bakkies Botha said the win was "well deserved. Enjoy."

Nearly 61 000 people packed out the Johannesburg Stadium to cheer on the Lions.

But they were instead forced to watch the Crusaders race to a 12-0 lead following tries by Seta Tamanivalu and Jack Goodhue and, by half-time, they were up 15-3.

A third try to Kieran Read and two Richie Mo'unga penalties put the Crusaders 25-3 ahead before the Lions produced two late tries by Malcolm Marx and Corne Fourie.

The team has consistently been in the Super Rugby play-offs and Crusader turned coach Scott Robertson said this title, the first in nine years, would put an end to the annual pre-season question fired at the Canterbury franchise.

"Every time people ask us about not having won the trophy for a while - well now we won't hear that question for a while," he said.

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 20 October 2017
Scarlets v Bath 18h45 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 21 October 2017
Australia v New Zealand 09h00 Brisbane
Glasgow Warriors v Leinster 12h00 Scotstoun
Sharks v Blue Bulls 12h30 Durban
Treviso v Toulon 14h15 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Western Province v Golden Lions 15h00 Cape Town
Clermont Auvergne v Northampton Saints 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Leicester Tigers v Castres 16h30 Welford Road
Munster v Racing Metro 16h30 Thomond Park
Saracens v Ospreys 18h45 Allianz Park
Sun, 22 October 2017
Montpellier v Exeter Chiefs 12h00 Altrad Stadium
La Rochelle v Ulster 14h15 Paris
Wasps v Harlequins 16h30 Ricoh Arena
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28