Three in a row, 10th Super Rugby title for Crusaders rugby dynasty

Three in a row, 10th Super Rugby title for Crusaders rugby dynasty
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 06: Sam Whitelock of the Crusaders and team mates pose with the Super Rugby Trophy after winning the Super Rugby Final between the Crusaders and the Jaguares at Orangetheory Stadium on July 06, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Winning three titles in a row, the franchises 10th Super Rugby title, it heralds a Crusaders rugby dynasty that has been strengthened more by Scott Robertson.

Defeating, and stifling a brave challenge by the Jaguares, it was an achieved goal for the side who matched the feats by the 1998/99/2000 side. They too enjoyed a ‘three-peat’ in the early years of the Super Rugby competition. That first stage of the success story that is Crusaders rugby, they began the high-performance standards that continue in 2019.

Three in a row, 10th Super Rugby title for Crusaders rugby dynasty

By holding off the South American team the Jaguares, it proves that the Crusaders rugby team is the all-time leader in the history of Super Rugby. Since 1997, this Southern Hemisphere competition has been dominated by this Crusaders rugby dynasty.

In reaching the sides 14th Grand Final, by converting the opportunity, is a reason why the Crusaders rugby dynasty endures. The franchise enjoys a fantastic conversion success rate. 14 appearances, with 10 victories.

A reason for their dominance from 1998 to 2008 was the sides continued performance levels. The strength of players like All Blacks pairing Justin Marshall and Andrew Mehrtens. Just two of a plethora of stars who performed under pressure, with loose forward (and current head coach) Scott Robertson being a team member then.

A level the side maintained for a ten year period, with new players like Dan Carter and Richie McCaw earning multiple titles,Β before other sides were successful. The Crusaders were unable to raise a trophy until 2017. All the while, the South Island team continued to reach the playoffs, contesting multiple grand finals and maintained their status as a premier side.

After this 19-3 victory on July 6, it now cements their place as being one of the most successful in rugby union history. Captain Sam Whitelock, and a long list of players who now depart the Crusaders rugby dynasty. Kieran Read, Owen Franks, Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua, the injured Ryan Crotty and the non-playing Israel Dagg. All of them have reached a century of games for the franchise, and along with Scott ‘Razor’ Robertson, have rejuvenated the legacy of the club.

It is now up to a new generation of Crusaders; the likes of Richie Mo’unga, Codie Taylor and Jack Goodhue, to continue to set the standard.

Crusaders can be compared to Rugby’s greatest sides

The three-peat is significant, as it boosts the consideration of the group as dominating forces in sport. They can be compared to others; the 1998 group, and other Super Rugby franchises like the Blues [1996/97] and 2003 [Bulls 2007 and 2008/09] and the Chiefs [2012/13]. Back-to-back winners, sides that can perform year-on-year, is a measure for continued success.

Similar to teams who win in other major sports, such as the NFL or English Football. The New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys in recent years. In the EPL, Manchester City, Chelsea and the most successful club, Manchester United. MU also enjoyed a three-peat, with the long successive history under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Comparable in rugby union to Toulouse. Over the history of the Top 14 and French rugby, Toulouse has enjoyed several years of multiple title runs. Three-in-a-row, four-in-a-row from 1994 to 1997. 20 French rugby titles, which is similar to Canterbury Rugby; the foundation region for the Crusaders rugby dynasty.

In the English Rugby Premiership, the Leicester Tigers hold a long-standing record of championships. They too enjoyed multiple titles in 1999/2000/01, and have a similar total of 10 titles. But more so in recent years, Saracens are comparable to the Crusaders – in holding back-to-back titles, but as much in their regular status as Champions in England and in European Professional Rugby Club competition.

Beside Leinster and Toulon, all of the leading Northern Hemisphere clubs mentioned, are seen as in a league where the Crusaders rugby dynasty can be measurable.

The result from the 2019 Super Rugby championship adds to that team’s history, but is also an acknowledgment that expansion has also added much to the modern version of Southern Hemisphere competition.

Jaguares ‘shed tears’ but must be Proud of Season

Before fans write-off the efforts of the Jaguares, in one of the lowest scoring grand finals in Super Rugby, they must consider the side’s effort. While it was a game where the effort meant that they tried ‘too hard’. Pushing the ball all over the field, it made the Crusaders make 117 out of 144 tackles. It pushed the champions to the limit, with an 81% success rate an example of how well the Jaguares attacked.

But with little reward on the scoreboard, it appears that they were ‘brushed aside’. Far from it. The South American team had 57% territory, and made for a tough night for Crusaders fans. It took everything that the Crusaders could muster, to deny the Jaguares a history-making win.

Jaguares MVP
Pablo Matera of the Jaguares is consoled following the Super Rugby Final between the Crusaders and the Jaguares at Orangetheory Stadium on July 06, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The recognition of Pablo Matera as the ‘Man of the Match’ was fitting, although his face and the tears shed by his teammates showed that they had put all their emotion into the season. That side should still be proud of their achievement, winning the South African conference, and boosting their status in the game.

Beaten by a better team on the night, this Crusaders rugby dynasty was a factor is driving the 2019 team’s success. With history on their side, it was a night where every player knew that by their combined effort, they added to the esteem which with the Crusaders team is held. In New Zealand, the Southern Hemisphere, and in global sport as a whole.

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