Super Rugby Pacific Final: Blues defeated by Crusaders 21-7 to take 11th title

Sevu Reece and team mates
Sevu Reece (right), with his team mates, celebrates the win for Crusaders in Eden Park

Blues were defeated 21-7 by Crusaders in the Super Rugby Pacific final at Eden Park, to win their 11th title.

The Christchurch-based Crusaders dominated the Auckland crowd during rainy conditions.

Bryn Hall, winger Sevu REece and scrum-half Bryn Hall scored tries each side of half-time. Richie Mo'unga, fly-half, added 11 points.

The Blues won 15 games consecutively before the final and finished the season at the top before the play offs.

Crusaders won the all-New Zealand contest by 13-0 at halftime. This was a dominating display that saw Mo'unga run the game and kick a penalty and drop-goal before Hall scored from close range.

Blues were able to score a goal in the second period, thanks to a try by Finlay Christie (scrum-half), converted by Stephen Perofeta.

With four minutes remaining, Pablo Matera, an Argentine flanker, broke through the Blues' defensive line following a mix up at the back. Reece was the fastest over the slick grass, picking up the ball, and moving over to secure victory.

Referring to his tight defensive display, Crusaders/All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock said that it wasn't always about scoring points. Sometimes, it was about stopping them scoring.

Beauden Barrett, Blues fly-half, admitted that his team was not good enough.

“It's really disappointing. It's a disappointing loss. We had a great season and wanted to be here to do a job tonight. Barrett said that it was difficult to swallow.

Crusaders are now the most successful side of the Pacific-region competition. They also won two domestic championships in Super Rugby Aotearoa when the regional version of the competition was suspended due to Covid's 2021 and 2020 seasons.

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