FULL-TIME: CRUSADERS 36-10 LIONS. Eventually, the Crusaders manage to get the ball into touch and seal a bonus point win. They were dominant from the first minute to the last and tries came from Reece (2), Bridge (2), and Ennor. The Lions scored an intercept try through Combrinck and fought hard despite difficult circumstances, but the hosts march on.
The Crusaders concede a penalty for holding on. Great work from Kwagga Smith to win that. The Lions set up the lineout.
The clock ticks into the red with the Crusaders looking for a sixth try. The Lions defence is holding firm as the hosts work the ball through the phases.
The clock ticks into the final minutes and the game is becoming somewhat scrappy. The Crusaders look all but assured of a bonus point victory.
The Crusaders go for the kick out wide, but Reece is just unable to hold onto the ball and keep it in play. Lions lineout. The visitors go over the top and look to put some pressure on but it doesn't take long before Paul Williams blows in the Crusaders' favour. They look to run their way out from the back but Reece loses the ball again. Williams awards a scrum to the Lions although the ball looked like it might have come off the winger's foot.
The Crusaders alleviate some of the pressure on them, winning a penalty and booting the ball into touch.
Ngane Punivai comes off the bench to make his Crusaders debut. Big night for him.
The Lions win a scrum penalty and set up an attacking lineout.
Mo'unga fails to convert a difficult kick near the touchline on the Crusaders' right.
TRY, CRUSADERS, REECE! 36-10: Absolutely brilliant try! Taufua, who has only just come on, passes to Reece out wide. He kicks ahead and somehow wins the race to the ball against all odds. That's his second try of the game!
CONVERSION, LIONS, JANTJIES! 31-10: Lovely kick from Jantjies. The Lions are into double figures.
TRY, LIONS, COMBRINCK! 31-8: Combrinck makes a great interception on a pass intended for Hunt and goes all the way for the Lions' first try!
CONVERSION, CRUSADERS, MO'UNGA! 31-3: Mo'unga converts yet again.
TRY, CRUSADERS, BRIDGE! 29-3: Wonderful breakaway try from the Crusaders! They swing the ball to Ennor on the left, who darts through the defence. Bridge runs up in support, gets the inside pass, and goes all the way for the finish.
CONVERSION, CRUSADERS, MO'UNGA! 24-3: Mo'unga adds the extras again.
TRY, CRUSADERS, BRIDGE! 22-3: Brilliant set piece from the Crusaders! They win their lineout and work the ball to Bridge, who darts through a gap in the defence to score the Crusaders'' third try!
Penalty, Crusaders, player leaving feet. The hosts set up an attacking lineout and another opportunity.
Groom clears the ball into touch and the Lions once again alleviate the pressure.
The Crusaders set up an attacking lineout and drive for the line but the Lions defend brilliantly once again, winning a turnover at the vital moment!
The Crusaders get the second half underway. They win the ball and go on the attack in no time.
The game has slowed down somewhat following a frantic spell leading up to that Crusaders try.
HALF-TIME: CRUSADERS 17-3 LIONS. The home team goes into the break with a deserved advantage thanks to tries from Ennor and Reece. The Lions have had some promising spells but don't have any tries to show for it yet.
CONVERSION, CRUSADERS, MO'UNGA! 17-3: Mo'unga adds the extras from near the right touchline. Good kick from him.
The Crusaders think they've got the ball down in their right corner! The on-field decision is a try, but we're going upstairs to TMO Aaron Paterson to look for a double movement.
TRY, CRUSADERS, REECE! 15-3: The try is awarded! Reece managed to wriggle through without making a double movement and the Crusaders are firmly in the driving seat.
The Crusaders win a turnover themselves now though and Crotty takes the ball upfield. That is why they are champions.
Groom spots space and puts a clever kick into touch. The Crusaders win their lineout but they're deep inside their own territory, only just outside their 22.
The Lions win the turnover from the maul. Momentum has definitely shifted in Christchurch.
The Lions win a penalty from the ensuing scrum and boot the ball into touch. The pressure is relieved for the moment.
The Lions win the turnover at last. Incredible work from the visitors. They were under siege from the defending champions.
We've been through 20 phases with the Crusaders inching towards the try line. The Lions are defending well.
The Crusaders are responding to that penalty with a spell of pressure of their own. Can they penetrate this defence again?
PENALTY, LIONS, JANTJIES! 10-3: Jantjies makes no mistake from an easy kick and the Lions are on the board at last.
The Lions fail to penetrate the Crusaders defence, but they work the ball through the phases and win a penalty right under the sticks.
The pressure continues with the Lions earning themselves a penalty and setting up a five-metre lineout. This is a major opportunity for the visitors.
The Lions enjoy their best spell yet on attack. Groom puts the pressure on with a clever kick in behind but Bridge chases and gets hold of the ball under pressure.
PENALTY, CRUSADERS, MO'UNGA! 10-0: Mapoe is penalised for offside, although it's a debatable call. Mo'unga steps up to the tee and puts the hosts into double figures.
The Crusaders come straight back at the Lions but the ball is spilled with the try line at their mercy! They're still piling on the pressure though.
CONVERSION, CRUSADERS, MO'UNGA! 7-0: Mo'unga extends the home side's advantage from the tee.
TRY, CRUSADERS, ENNOR! 5-0: The Crusaders work the ball to Ennor off a lineout and he blasts through a gap in the defence. No stopping him. The Crusaders take a deserved early lead!
The Crusaders are putting on all the early pressure. The Lions are holding firm for the moment but struggling to get out of their half.
Referee Paul Williams blows his whistle and the Lions get the match underway. The Lions look to pin the Crusaders back but Mapoe strays offside and the hosts boot the ball into touch inside Lions territory.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of this Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Lions at the Christchurch Stadium. It's the finalists from the last two years up against each other all over again.
The Crusaders, coming off a bye week, have made a few changes to the team which downed the Highlanders 43-17. Codie Taylor starts at hooker while lock Quinten Strange and flank Billy Harmon are also handed opportunities. Scott Barrett and Matt Todd are rested. In the backline, Mitch Drummond gets the nod at scrumhalf as do George Bridge and Sevu Reece on the wings. Braydon Ennor moves to outside centre.
The Lions have been hit by several blows including the withdrawal of coach Swys de Bruin from the tour due to stress and the late withdrawal of captain Warren Whiteley from the team after failing a fitness test. Kwagga Smith thus captains the side from no 8 with Marnus Schoeman starting on the flank and Hacjivah Dayimani coming onto the bench. Meanwhile, Robbie Coetzee starts at hooker as Malcolm Marx gets a rest, Shaun Reynolds starts at flyhalf with Elton Jantjies at inside centre, and Ruan Combrinck gets the nod at fullback. Nic Groom starts at scrumhalf in place of Ross Cronje in a rotational change.
The Crusaders sit well clear at the top of the New Zealand Conference. The Lions are battling in the South African Conference but still sit second and can go top for the moment at least with a win today.
Follow Sport24 on Twitter
"Like" Sport24's Facebook page
Enter and win with Sport24!
Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry
Sport news delivered really simply.
24.com: Legal notices
Advertise on 24.com
24.com. All rights reserved.