The Crusaders won their tenth Super rugby title by beating the Jaguares 19-3 at their home ground Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch.
Crusaders Super rugby head coach Scott Robinson has now been in charge for three seasons and has won every year has been in charge so has achieved a “threepeat”.
The Crusaders beat the Lions in 2017 (17-25) and 2018 (37-18) Super rugby finals.
This is the second time that the Crusaders have won three titles in a row as they also achieved the feat in 1998 Auckland (Blues), 1999 Dunedin (Highlanders) & 2000 Canberra (Brumbies).
The Crusaders were playing in their 14th Super rugby final while the Jaguares were playing in their first ever final.
The Jaguares had more of the ball 55% and more of the territory 57% in the match but it was the Crusaders who used their opportunities better.
Codie Taylor scored the only try of the match while Richie Mo’unga scored 14 points through four penalties and a conversion. The Jaguares only points came from a penalty.
Throughout the match, the Crusaders conceded four penalties and the Jaguares conceded 8 and four of those ended in points for the Crusaders through Mo’unga’s kicking boot.
The final was never going to be a try-fest as the Crusaders and Jaguares finished the regular season as the two teams that had conceded the least amount of tries.
The Crusaders had let in 31 tries in 16 regular season matches while Jaguares had conceded 38. In this final, the Crusaders kept the Jaguares tryless but crossed the line twice but only being awarded one try as their other attempt was held up.
The Jaguares were more creative in attack forcing the Crusaders to make 132 tackles while only having to make 94 tackles themselves.
The Jaguares had their chances and Matias Moroni created three of the Jaguares clearest try-scoring opportunities but none of them resulted in points for the visiting side from Argentina.
Although the Crusaders enjoyed a far stronger start to the match and enjoyed as much as 96% of the territory in the opening ten minutes of the match it was the Jaguares who scored the opening points when Joaquin Diaz Bonilla kicked a penalty in the 15th minute.
The Crusaders got on to the scoreboard ten minutes later after Matt Todd ripped the ball out of the breakdown and offloaded to Sam Whitelock who raced down the wing sucking in defenders and then passing to Taylor who just managed to bounce over the try line and score.
Mo’unga converted the try and then extra time of the first half he added his first penalty to give the Crusaders a 10-3 lead at half time.
The Jaguares came out for the second half with more intent but were ultimately strangled out of the contest as Mo’unga kicked penalties in the 53rd, 58th and 74th minute.
Throughout the match, neither team really found their rhythm and the match was no showpiece for Southern Hemisphere rugby as knock-ons were common throughout the contest.
With just one try and both teams struggling to find their game and repeatedly knocking on the result is that this final is the lowest scoring Super rugby final in history.
The previous lowest-scoring Super rugby final was four years ago in 2016 when the Hurricanes beat the Lions 20-3.
Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is attributed to have once said: “attack wins you games, defence wins you titles”. The 2019 Crusaders scored the most points, the highest number of tries and conceded the least tries so they also had the best defence.
The Crusaders are all round and deserved champions.
Final Score Crusaders 19 (10) Jaguares 3 (3)
Tries – C.Taylor
Pen – R.Mo’unga 4
Con – R.Mo’unga
Tries – J.Diaz Bonilla
Referee: Jaco Peyper (ZAR)
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser (NZ)
Assistant Ref 2: Paul Williams (NZ)
TMO: Ben Skeen (NZ)
15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Mitchell Dunshea, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 George Bower, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Will Jordan
15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Matias Moroni, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente (c), 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Sebastian Cancelliere