Almanac Rugby: Super Rugby Pacific Final

 

 

 

Crusaders 21 v Blues 7

 

In what turned out to be a portent, Auckland’s weather had been diabolical leading up to the final of Super Rugby Pacific. On game day, it bucketed down to end up resembling Christchurch conditions. This familiarity played into the hands of the Crusaders.

 

In the opening moments it was clear the visitors were determined to play their style of rugby and stymie the Blues at every turn. The inability of the hosts to get clean ball at lineouts was perhaps the clearest indication they were going to struggle to prevent being harried by the perennial trophy winners.

 

Richie Mo’unga slotted a penalty and a cheeky drop goal in the opening quarter to ensure the Crusaders wouldn’t be playing catch-up rugby. Their pressure gave them an inevitable try before half-time to give then a 13 point buffer and keep the Blues scoreless for the first time in an opening half for several years.

 

The Blues threw caution to the wind in the second half but could only penetrate the Crusaders’ Maginot Line on one occasion.

 

The late bonus try by Sevu Reece cemented the dominance of the Crusaders.

 

The most successful team, by a long stretch, in Super Rugby takes out the inaugural SR Pacific title.

 

Meanwhile, Rugby Australia has threatened to pull out of the competition in 2024. Taking into account the legendarily Byzantine nature of rugby administration in this country, anything could happen before then.

 

Let’s at least take a moment to celebrate the first time we brought our Pacific Island brothers into the SR family. I hope this format rides out the antics emanating from RA. It’s a pity the game played in heaven is overseen by people who should be rotting in hell.

 

 

 

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About

Grew up playing the rugby codes in suburban Sydney. Moved to Melbourne during the Carey era so becoming a Shinboner was the natural call. Still love the game they play in heaven. Took an interest in MLB a few years back and have become infatuated with America's pastime.

Comments

  1. Ian Hauser says

    Brian, like you I despair at the gap between the religious fervour for the code across the ditch and the quality of play it produces on one hand and, on the other, the small-minded, regressive attitude of RA which is likely to see the Bledisloe Cup stay firmly in NZ hands for at least another decade.

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