The Crusaders have outplayed the Lions, beating last year’s losing finalists 17-25 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg to claim their eighth Super Rugby title – and first since 2014.
In a record breaking performance, the Crusaders became the first team that ever travelled across the Indian Ocean and won a final, but Scott Robinson’s men changed that.
The Kiwi’s became the first team to win the southern hemisphere’s premier competition on another continent with a clinical performance in their 12th final.
The Crusaders are also the only team to win the title outside their own country, claiming the 2000 title in Canberra against the Brumbies to go with the 2017 victory.
The New Zealanders raced to a 3-25 lead inside 53 minutes with tries from Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue and Kieren Read, while Richie Mo’unga kicked two penalties and two conversions to cancel out Elton Jantjies’ first-half three-pointer.
Kwagga Smith was red carded for a dangerous tackle on David Havili in the last minute of the first-half, giving his team a mountain to climb.
Final Score: Lions 17 (3) Crusaders 25 (15)
Tries – Marx, Fourie
Pen – Jantjies
Con – Jantjies (2)
Cards – Smith (Red, 39th minute)
Tries – Tamanivalu, Goodhue, Read
Pen – Mo’unga (2)
Con – Mo’unga (2)
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