Why Kiwi Super Rugby games aren't played in the afternoon


"[If] you play too many games at 2.30pm on a Saturday afternoon during the club season, then you will make what is already a very hard job for our club administrators".

Tries from wing Seta Tamanivalu, centre Jack Goodhue and number eight Kieran Read extended the Crusaders' record as the most successful team in the competition.

That numerical advantage was plain to see as the Crusaders simply built up through the phases, stretching the home defence one way and then the other for Read to score under the posts.

It's tough, and probably has more to do with my own bias but I suspect the big game experience of the Crusaders will show through today - but, the Lions are an outstanding side and have shown once they have the momentum they are near impossible to stop.

The Crusaders nearly had a third try after 16 minutes, winger Israel Dagg knocking on in the tackle of centre Harold Vorster. Fullback David Havili missed for the Crusaders but Jantjies was on target for the Lions moments later.

The New Zealand side started strongly and a red card for Lions flanker Kwagga Smith late in the first half proved a blow from which the home side could not recover in their bid to land a maiden Super Rugby crown, despite their best efforts.

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A scrum penalty as the clock ticked over to 40 minutes allowed Mo'unga to extend the Crusaders lead to 12 points at the break despite trailing in both the territory and possession stakes with 44% and 38%, respectively.

But they were instead forced to watch the Crusaders race to a 12-0 lead following tries by Seta Tamanivalu and Jack Goodhue and, by half-time, they were up 15-3.

South African referee Jaco Pyper had no option under World Rugby's new safety guidelines but to issue a red to Smith.

However, the Crusaders held on, claiming their first Super Rugby title in nine years.

The Lions fought back, though, and converted tries from Malcolm Marx and Corne Fourie gave the Ellis Park crowd hope.