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

There are currently no matches being played
Sun, 22 October 2017
Montpellier v Exeter Chiefs 12h00 Altrad Stadium
La Rochelle v Ulster 14h15 Paris
Wasps v Harlequins 16h30 Ricoh Arena
Fri, 27 October 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Kings 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 AJ Bell Stadium
Ospreys v Dragons 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Munster 19h35 Sportsground
Sat, 28 October 2017
Treviso v Edinburgh 14h00 Stadio Monigo
Harlequins v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Twickenham
Saracens v London Irish 14h00 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Wasps 14h00 Franklin's Gardens
Sharks v Western Province 14h00 Kings Park, Durban
Ulster v Leinster 17h15 Kingspan Stadium
Scarlets v Cardiff Blues 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Zebre v Cheetahs 19h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
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