Blackadder is a deadset legend! If you get a chance to watch the game again, count the tackles he made... It was close to thirty very telling Brumby fellings he made personally. Talk about leading from the front. It is that determined passion he has displayed the last three years which has finally earned him the prize of the All Black captaincy. About bloody time! Nobody can doubt the integrity and honesty of the man. His post match speech was straight from the heart and his praise of the ACT skipper was so obviously genuine. And in typical Blackadder style he thanked the fans - all the fans - making special note that the Crusaders catchment is far wider than just Canterbury, as he always does.
Cribb's try was a superb piece of skill which any back would have been more than proud of. It was good enough to make me forget - almost - the two awful attempted chip kicks he cocked up in the first clash with the Brumbies.
SG is more than likely to dish up a couple of RugbyHeads raspberries to Andre Watson in his article, so I won't dwell on his influence on the game, save to say he certainly made his presence felt. Brumbies fans could well feel robbed by an Andre shocker which handed Mehrtens the three pointer that gave the Crusaders the game. Likewise there were plenty of decisions against the Crusaders that were difficult to understand - in particular the rolling maul that wasn't rolling quick enough for Andre straight after the 2nd half kickoff. I have been reading many complaints about his "overlooking" of the Crusaders defensive line being offside. Could be true - I am too one-eyed to comment, except to say he also chose to "overlook" some dodgy decoy runners and equally dodgy scrum bindings in previous games.
The Brumbies were outstanding as they have been all season. Their backs are easily the best in the competition and their forwards ball retention is setting a new standard. If their performance is anything to go by, the Wallabies are going to be a very strong team. In my book, the team to beat and deserving of their World Champion status. Gregan, Larkham and Kafer are brilliant, and though it pains me to say it, probably the best inside back combination in the World right now.
In retrospect, putting any dodgy ref decisions aside, the difference between the teams was the kicking. The normally steady Mortlock had a shocker and uncharacteristically missed a couple of absolute sitters... So, perhaps the real difference between the teams was experience. Canterbury have been there before. Been there, done that, won that. In particular Mehrtens has and it was his steady kicking that guided the Cantabs to the finish line first.
So now that the international season approaches, the Final has left some interesting posers for both New Zealand and Australia.
All hail King Toddy, go the Crusaders and bring on the Tri Nations! I've cleared a spot for the Bledisloe Cup already!!!!!