Crusaders too good for Lions in Christchurch
Cape Town - The Crusaders were crowned deserved 2018 Super Rugby champions when they beat the Lions in the final in Christchurch on Saturday.
As it happened: Crusaders v Lions
The Crusaders won 37-18 after leading 20-6 at half-time.
The victory was an incredible ninth title for the champion New Zealand side in the tournament's 23-year history.
For the Lions, who were brave throughout with their never-say-die attitude, it was a third consecutive final defeat.
The Crusaders scored four tries through wing Seta
Tamanivalu, fullback David Havili, replacement scrumhalf Mitchell Drummond and lock Scott Barrett. Man of the match flyhalf Richie
Mo'unga, who sent a reminder to All Blacks coach Steve Hansen with a polished all-round performance, added all four conversions as well as three penalties for a personal haul of 17 points.
The Lions replied with tries by impressive flank Cyle Brink and hooker Malcolm Marx. Flyhalf Elton Jantjies, who had a night to forget, added a conversion and a two penalties.
To run salt into the Lions' wounds, the Crusaders' 4-2 try advantage saw the Crusaders overtake the Johannesburg side as this season's leading try-scoring team having entered the final a single five-pointer behind.
The players will break for a fortnight before battle recommences in the Rugby Championship, starting on Saturday, August 18.
Both the All Blacks and Springboks squads for the tournament will be named on Monday.
15 David Havili, 14 Seta
Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie
Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Heiden
Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen
Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20
Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Braydon Ennor
Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrink, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster,
11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley
(captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Marvin
Orie, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
16 Corne Fourie, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens
Erasmus, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 23