The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
The Crusaders emerged victorious over the Jaguares in a hard-fought, tense final in Christchurch.
In a tight, rainy game with few clear-cut attacking chances or open play, the men in red notched their third title in a row.
Here’s the team that dazzled.
15. David Havili
He made the second-most metres in his team and beat four defenders, and pulled off some vital tackles in defence.
14. Matias Moroni
Moroni made a staggering 97 metres, more than any other player on the field. He also notched four clean breaks and five defenders beaten, going so, so close twice to a try.
13. Braydon Ennor
He was a handful with the ball, racking up metres and breaking tackles but also worked hard in defence.
12. Jeronimo De La Fuente
He outworked his opponent with a heroic 12 carries. He gave it everything but couldn’t steer the Jags to glory.
11. George Bridge
No try for him but was busy and safe at the back. He made some telling hits that kept the Crusaders in it.
10. Richie Mo’unga
Another cool and calm display from the ten. Mo’unga kicked four penalties that secured the win in the end.
9. Bryn Hall
In the battle of the scrum-halves, Hall got the decision over Tomas Cubelli and kept the ball moving quickly ruck to ruck.
8. Kieran Read
His last game for the Crusaders was a memorable one. Read reeled off ten tackles, won two lineouts and helped create the only try of the match.
7. Matt Todd
Todd got the turnover that led to the try and made a team-high 17 tackles. Such a quality performer.
6. Pablo Matera
He is simply a machine. He did not stop all game, attacking and asking questions of the Crusaders’ defence and being a menace at the breakdown.
5. Sam Whitelock
Whitelock did the hard yards making tackles, cleaning out rucks and leading with his actions. He also threw a lovely pass to set up Codie Taylor’s try. A captain’s knock.
4. Guido Petti Pagadizaval
He won five lineouts, made five tackles and got involved with five carries in a brutal encounter.
3. Owen Franks
His last game for the Crusaders only went for 58 minutes, but in that spell he completed seven tackles and kept his side’s scrum on song. Influential.
2. Codie Taylor
Dependable at the lineout, he also crossed for the only try of the night. Taylor had a positive impact with the ball in hand as well.
1. Joe Moody
Moody worked hard with his front row comrades to exert some vital scrum dominance and didn’t shirk the effort in defence or attack either.