The Crusaders' Super six
The Crusaders haven't won a Super Rugby title since 2008, but we can still reminisce about the good times. The Crusaders have won seven championships, but Press reporter MARC GREENHILL looks at their six best.
1. 1998: The Crusaders won their first title in an epic match against the Blues 20-13 at Eden Park. It was notable because the Blues juggernaut was chasing a hat-trick of titles, while the Crusaders had finished sixth the previous year.
2. 1999: The Crusaders were under pressure to back up the previous year's success, but finished fourth qualifier in the playoffs. After beating the Reds in Brisbane, they spoiled the "Party at Tony Brown's" by beating the Highlanders in the final at Carisbrook, 24-19.
3. 2000: Super Rugby's first hat-trick of titles took some winning. The Brumbies topped the table, forcing the Crusaders to travel to fortress Canberra. Andrew Mehrtens' five penalties ensured a 20-18 victory.
4. 2002: Having finished 10th the previous season, the Crusaders totally dominated 2002 to finish unbeaten in 13 games. In their first home final, they smashed the Brumbies 31-13.
5. 2006: The season was unremarkable by Crusaders standards, despite just the one loss during round robin play. The final at Jade Stadium was notable for the thick fog that engulfed the ground and made the action near impossible to see. The Crusaders prevailed against the the Hurricanes, 19-12.
6. 2008: The perfect sendoff for long-time coach Robbie Deans. The Crusaders again dominated the competition, dropping just two matches. In the final, the Crusaders topped the Warratahs 20-12 after trailing at half-time.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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