Super Rugby

Crusaders beat Chiefs in Super Rugby Aotearoa Final

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The Chiefs will be looking to win multiple Super Rugby games in a year against the Crusaders for the first time since 2016 after picking up a 26-25 victory when they met in Round 8 of the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign.

Each of the three previous Super Rugby post-season encounters between the Crusaders and Chiefs has been won by the hosts on the day, with the Chiefs picking up two wins in that span (L1).

  • The Crusaders have won all 24 of their previous Super Rugby finals games when playing as hosts on the day, including all six finals they’ve previously hosted.
  • The Chiefs have won only two of their last eight finals games in Super Rugby (L6) and have not won a post-season fixture against a fellow New Zealand opponent in the competition since a semi-final success against the Crusaders in 2013 (20-19).
  • The Chiefs have won two of their last three away games in Super Rugby Aotearoa (L1) after having lost all five of their away games in the all-New Zealand competition prior.
  • The Crusaders have won 18 turnovers within their own 22m zone this Super Rugby Aotearoa season, the most of any team in the competition and twice as many as they have conceded in that same region.
  • The Chiefs have made 30 offloads in the opposition 22m zone this Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign, the most of any team in the competition and eight more than the Crusaders.
  • Codie Taylor has scored seven tries in eight appearances this Super Rugby Aotearoa season, the most of any player and as many as he had scored in his 34 Super Rugby appearances prior.
  • Will Jordan has made 10m per carry from his 60 carries in the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign, the most of any player to have made at least 10 carries this season.
  • Crusaders’ Richie Mo’unga (81% – 34/42) and Chiefs’ Damian McKenzie (80% – 33/41) are the only players to have attempted more than five goal kicks this season in Super Rugby Aotearoa and maintained a success rate of 80% or higher.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

In the meantime, why not have a look at the match preview.

1.00: PEEEEP! ‘God defend New Zealand’ is sung, and the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa Final is underway at Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch. Here we go!

2.00: Sione Havili Talitui is out of the game with a head-knock sustained in the pre-game warm-ups. Tom Sanders starts from the bench, Whetukamokamo Douglas comes into the matchday 23.

6.00: It’s end-to-end in the opening stages as both teams look to play wide. Both teams’ offload game is causing problems for the defenders. Crusaders win a penalty and kick to the Chiefs’ 22.

7.00: TRY! Sevu Reece is set away down the sideline, he stutter-stepped Damian McKenzie before being tackled by the fullback. However, Reece managed to reach out and place the ball on the try line after the tackle. 5-0

8.00: CONVERSION! Richie Mo’unga adds the touchline conversion. 7-0

10.00: The Chiefs are being smashed at the rucks, allowing the Saders to flood the breakdown, get quick ball, and attack the gain line in numbers.

12.00: Sam Whitelock steals a lineout inside his half, the Crusaders kick the ball away, and a kicking duel ensues before the visitors win a penalty at the ruck. Brad Weber is down after Leicester Fainga’anuku ran over him at the side of the ruck. Bryn Gatland kicks to about 10 metres out from the Saders’ line.

14.00: Weber is back up and running. Several phases of pick and drives result in another penalty after Whitelock is caught offside. The Chiefs will take a shot.

15.00: PENALTY! Damian McKenzie puts his team on the board. 7-3

16.00: TRY! Will Jordan latches onto David Havili’s lovely little grubber behind the Chiefs’ defenders. McKenzie could not gather, and Jordan scores. Simply superb! Luke Jacobson takes over the captaincy because Weber has gone for an HIA. 12-3

17.00: MISS! Mo’unga pulls his kick wide. 12-3

20.00: TRY! Damian McKenzie finishes in the corner after taking Alex Nankivell’s audacious back-door offload following a 12-man lineout by the Chiefs. The lineout looked confusing. It went nowhere, but the ball was shifted wide to Nankivell, who was tackled by Jordan before slipping the offload to the supporting McKenzie. WOW! 12-8

22.00: CONVERSION! McKenzie converts his try. 12-10

26.00: The Crusaders are causing the Chiefs’ lineout problems by contesting every set piece. Whitelock is offside at the maul, but the ref blows up Ethan Blackadder. Gatland kicks to the opposition’s 22 from a tight angle.

28.00: The Crusaders steal another lineout and clear. The ball is booted back to the hosts, who knock-on trying to run from their half. The Chiefs’ lineout needs sorting out.

29.00: A ‘Captain’s Referral’ by Scott Barrett wins the Crusaders a penalty after Etene Nanai-Seturo hit Will Jordan high. The tackle was not malicious. Good officiating by Ben O’Keeffe and TMO Brendon Pickerill.

31.00: A nine-phase Saders’ attack ends with Luke Jacobson knocking on a turnover on his 22. Scrum to the champions in a good position.

33.00: NO TRY! The Chiefs win the scrum and attack from their 22. The visitors go the length of the field with some outstanding interplay between backs and forwards. McKenzie sent Mitchell Brown away but the big man is tackled short by Jordan. After a TMO review, Jordan is pinged for the high tackle. Gatland kicks to the corner.

35.00: The Chiefs are held up in the tackle by Havili and Co. That is a missed chance for the Waikato men.

36.00: A multi-phase attack ends with the hosts winning a penalty inside the visitor’s 22. Mo’unga calls for the tee.

37.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga extends from in front. 15-10

39.00: The Chiefs win a Crusaders lineout, go a few phases before winning another turnover and penalty. The Chiefs tried to keep the ball alive before Gatland’s back-door pass flies into touch.

40.00: Another ‘Captain’s Referal’ by Barrett, this time unsuccessful; a pretty ridiculous call by the skipper to say the least. McKenzie will take a shot at goal.

41.00: MISS! McKenzie misses from next to the poles, which could be crucial. 15-10

The halftime score was Crusaders 15 Chiefs 10

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in this thrilling Super Rugby final.

43.00: Codie Taylor concedes a needless penalty, which allows McKenzie another shot at goal.

45.00: MISS! McKenzie misses a simple shot at goal, he’s having a poor day from the tee. 15-10

47.00: Chase Tiatia is on for Bryn Gatland. McKenzie moves to first-five and Tiatia goes to fullback.

50.00: Chase Tiatia and McKenzie are causing problems already, the fullback almost beat Mo’unga for a score, but the flyhalf did enough to halt Tiatia.

54.00: YELLOW CARD! Codie Taylor tackled McKenzie in the air after the playmaker won an overthrown lineout. 15-10

54.00: MISS! Three misses in a row, oh boy! 15-10

57.00: Despite the missed opportunities, the Chiefs are in charge after the break; they just need to find a way through this dogged Crusaders’ defence.

58.00: YELLOW CARD! Sevu Reece hits Chase Tiatia with a high shot, it was reckless, and he is off for 20 minutes. The crusaders are down to 13 players for 16 minutes. 15-10

59.00: PENALTY! McKenzie – finally – refinds his radar. 15-13

63.00: Taylor is back.

64.00: DROP-GOAL! Mo’unga slots his first-ever Super Rugby drop-kick. 18-13

67.00: The Chiefs cannot get their hands on the ball in Saders’ territory, time is ticking down to the hosts getting a full quota of players.

69.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga adds another three. 21-10

71.00: Time is running out for McMillan’s men. They need to score some points soon because three points is not enough when the opposition has two yellow cards.

76.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga adds another three. 24-13

78.00: Time is ticking down.

81.00: Robertson is walking down to the side of the field, the game is over. The Crusaders make it 25 from 25 in Super Rugby playoffs and finals.

FULL TIME

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The final score is Crusaders 24 (15) Chiefs 13 (10)

Scorers

Crusaders
Tries – Reece, Jordan
Pen – Mo’unga (3)
Con – Mo’unga
Drop – Mo’unga
Cards – Taylor (Yellow, 54′), Reece (Yellow, 58′)

Chiefs
Tries – McKenzie
Pen – McKenzie (2)
Con – Mckenzie
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1: James Doleman
Assistant Ref 2: Paul Williams
TMO: Brendon Pickerill

Teams

Crusaders

15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 12 David Havili, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Cullen Grace, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Tom Sanders, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower

Replacements:
16 Brodie McAlister, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Mitchell Dunshea, 20 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Dallas McLeod, 23 Braydon Ennor

Chiefs

15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Jonah Lowe, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Brad Weber (captain), 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Pita Gus Sowakula, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tupou Vaa’i, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Aidan Ross

Replacements:
16 Bradley Slater, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Zane Kapeli, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Rameka Poihipi, 23 Chase Tiatia

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