Crusaders outlast 14-man Lions to claim Super Rugby title

Crusaders outlast 14-man Lions to claim Super Rugby title

Crusaders outlast 14-man Lions to claim Super Rugby title

But the gamble backfired thanks to a Crusaders turnover and then the match took a decisive turn in favour of the New Zealanders when Smith was red-carded.

Crusaders broke the deadlock after eight minutes with a turnover offering winger Seta Tamanivalu a chance to dart unopposed from his half and score. Mo'unga missed the conversion from the sideline but at 12-0 the Crusaders were well on top.

Lions centre Harold Vorster makes a desperate try-saving tackle on Israel Dagg, who knocks on with the tryline a handful of metres away, and saves the hosts from losing more ground on the Crusaders. Play returned to the area between the 10m lines with each side having a long-range penalty attempt.

Flanker Kwagga Smith was sent off by referee Jaco Peyper, for unsafe play on Crusaders full-back David Havili.

He chased a high ball with visiting fullback David Havili, but barged into the latter while he was in the air, causing a risky fall. Peyper told the South African Sevens star he had no choice but to give him a red card.

The first showed all their quality in turning defense into attack as Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies was sacked on the Crusaders 22, and Tamanivalu picked up the loose ball to race down the touchline and score.

Coach Scott Robertson pulled out his party piece in Johannesburg, holding court with his team before showcasing some sensational moves in his dance routine. "I just feel that over 60 000 people didn't pay to come watch a 15 versus 14 game", said Ackermann.

Despite a fearless second-half comeback by the Lions which saw them score two tries through hooker Malcolm Marx and replacement prop Corne Fourie, which were both converted by Jantjies, they ultimately came up short.

Related news