Gritty Crusaders clinch another Super Rugby title

Gritty Crusaders clinch another Super Rugby title

"He's been honest with me, he's had a few hard words with me at the start of the year around my goal kicking, and a few other things around my game play which has put me in good stead", Mo'unga said of O'Gara following the latest Super Rugby title success. Because if they were happy just to be in the final their (state of) mind is not what we want.

Robertson said he had to pull the team together after the shooting and fallout from the team's name and branding, but a simple message was all that was needed to hold them together.

The 18,000-seat stadium, a "temporary" facility developed in the aftermath of the 2011 Christchurch quake, was filled to capacity on a bitterly cold evening, including by many exuberant fans of the Jaguares whose coach Gonzalo Quesada guided them to their first final in his first year in charge.

Saturday's final preparations could have been overshadowed by the emotion of the departures of long-serving players Kieran Read, Ryan Crotty, Owen Franks, Matt Todd and Jordan Taufua, while Whitelock will take a sabbatical next year. Possibly the only barriers to him achieving a lot more success at this level are the departures of such world-class players and the fact he is firmly in the frame as Steve Hansen's successor at the All Blacks. "I can see it even getting better".

"No one likes losing so of course there's a bit of frustration", coach Gonzalo Quesada said. Any turnovers were going to be complicated for the other team. "This was probably not the most exciting, but under conditions like this one, it's just about doing the basics and doing them well". "They guys are in tears". How there were no serious injuries suffered by either team nearly beggars belief, and All Blacks coach Hansen will be thrilled there were no obvious issues suffered by his 11 All Blacks in the Crusaders a couple of weeks out from the Rugby Championship.

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Fans have turned out in forced to celebrate the champion Crusaders at a civic reception in Christchurch. "It's been up and down".

"It's given me everything", an emotional Read, who will retire from worldwide rugby after the World Cup in October, told Sky Sports.

Having won their third straight Super Rugby crown, and 10th in their history, coach Robertson took to the field to bust a move for the third straight year. All five have played more than 100 games for the Crusaders.

"We had to front up and try to slow their ball down and not let them get any rhythm".

Next up for Mo'unga is the Rugby Championship as preparation for the World Cup. "To get a lead in a game like that is really important, and to be able to play without the ball is too".

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