Lions vs Crusaders highlights: Super Rugby Final live scores, blog

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    Lions vs Crusaders

    Super Rugby, 6 August, 2017

    Emirates Airlines Park
    Fulltime - Lions 17, Crusaders 25
    Lions   Crusaders
    17 FINAL SCORE 25
    2 TRIES 3
    0 DROP GOALS 0
    Referee: Jaco Peyper
    Touch judges: Glen Jackson & Marius van der Westhuizen
    TMO: Marius Jonker

    Match result:

    The Crusaders have been crowned Super Rugby champions for 2017 after defeating the Lions at Emirates Airlines Park in Johannesburg by 25 points to 17 in a hard fought and composed performance in front of over 60,000 fans.

    » Click here to read the full match report

    Final score
    Lions 17
    Crusaders 25

    Match preview:

    The Crusaders travel to Johannesburg to contest the 2017 Super Rugby final agains the Lions at Emirates Airlines Park, with kick-off scheduled for 12am AEST.

    It’s boiled down to 1 vs 2 in terms of competition points to decide this year’s champion with both sides recording impressive semi-final victories to earn their place in today’s finale.

    Last weekend the Crusaders hosted the Chiefs in Christchurch and produced a defensive master class to keep the Chiefs at bay while ruthlessly keeping the scoreboard ticking over whenever the opportunity would present itself.

    The Lions survived a whirlwind start from the Hurricanes to produce a dazzling second half comeback and overrun the Hurricanes at home, recording a comfortable victory to not only book a spot in the final, but earn hosting rights to boot.

    The match up certainly appeals as a definitive clash of styles, the high octane attack of the Lions versus the defensively sound Crusaders – but that would be ignoring both sides’ capabilities across the park, excellent set piece, exciting and creative ball runners, powerful loose forward trios and gnarled packs. Certainly neither side will see themselves with any more advantage than the other.

    While many would expect an action packed fast paced game, there will no doubt be plenty of nerves to overcome for both sides in front of a packed crowd in Johannesburg and the side which can overcome the pressure and play to their expectations cohesively, particularly on defense, will likely win today’s encounter and this year’s title.

    Matt Todd certainly shapes as a pivotal figure for the Crusaders this evening, his ability to disrupt the opposition ball will likely play a huge role tonight in halting the Lions momentum while Malcolm Marx for the Lions shapes as a match changer also, his dynamic play and work rate could prove a difference for the Lions tonight.

    The composure of the men at the back, in particular Israel Dagg and Ruan Combrinck will be needed this evening.

    It’s tough, and probably has more to do with my own bias but I suspect the big game experience of the Crusaders will show through today – but, the Lions are an outstanding side and have shown once they have the momentum they are near impossible to stop.

    Crusaders by 1.

    Join us here live on The Roar as we cover all of the action live for the Super Rugby final and don’t forget to leave your comments below as the action unfolds.

    A Rotundity and happy ex hooker who just loves Rugby really, oh and my kids and Kendra of course who lets me watch as much Rugby as I want, mostly. Follow Digby Ross on Twitter @Diggercane.

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