Crusaders ready to make history

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 21:22

SUPER RUGBY FINAL: No team from New Zealand has ever won a Final in South Africa. The Crusaders are determined to buck the trend.

The All Black-laden Auckland went down 17-20 to Transvaal in the Super 10 Final in 1993.

The only other time a New Zealand franchise travelled to South Africa for a Final was in 2009 - when the Chiefs were handed a record 61-17 hiding by the Bulls.

The seven-time champion Crusaders will hope to make it third time lucky when they face a gritty Lions team in the 2017 grand finale at Ellis Park on Saturday, knowing they will have to be at their absolute for 80 minutes and more.

Crusaders inside centre Ryan Crotty believes his teammates have it in them to break New Zealand's Super Rugby duck on South African soil.

The Crusaders will not only go into battle against the fast-paced Lions, they will also have to deal with the effects of altitude and a capacity 62500 spectators at Ellis Park.

Crotty will be looking to continue his fine run of form - which has seen him score five tries in his last two games.

He also has a hat-trick against the Johannesburg-based team - in the Crusaders' 43-37 victory over the Lions in a 2016 season match.

"I've been pretty lucky the last few times," Crotty said.  

"I think I've been the right man in the right place at the right time for a couple of those tries but I just go out there and do my job, but my jobs not to go out there and score tries but to just do my role in the team and if a try comes on as a part of that then happy days,” Crotty told journalists at the team hotel in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Crotty added that the Crusaders are prepared to take the game into extra time in order to get the victory which will earn them their first Super Rugby title since beating the Waratahs 20-12 in the Super 14 final at AMI Stadium in Christchurch in 2008.

"A good starts is always key," the midfielder said, adding: "We've started well all year, but we've got to be able to play for 85 to 90 minutes - as long as it takes - to get the win.

"We will go out there and we will take it moment by moment and just enjoy the challenge," explained Crotty.

By Josh Isaacson
@isaacson_j
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28