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Crusaders do it Again!
Crusaders do it Again!
(All Hail King Toddy!)
29 May 2000
Well it was a game that promised to be a huge clash between clearly the best two teams in the Super12. And putting the result aside - which would have disappointed more than a few Brumby fans - it was an impressive match up, which didn't disappoint.

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.

  • The All Blacks have to work out how to get the ball back from the Aussies when they've got it. Though the Crusaders won this one, having only 25% of possession is likely to lose more games than it will win.
  • The Wallabies need to ensure they score 200% more points than the opposition when they have 200% more possession. Retaining possession is only useful if you convert it.
  • All hail King Toddy, go the Crusaders and bring on the Tri Nations! I've cleared a spot for the Bledisloe Cup already!!!!!

    by Wobbly

    Let us know what you think!

    Personally I'm devastated that only 11 of my mighty Crusaders made the All black squad! I'm sure they could have found room for another 13 players if they had tried.
    By the way - did anyone else spot God asking Toddy for his autograph after the game?
    Supposedly this article has been viewed 1166 times since we bothered to start counting*.
    (Although it could have just been Wobbly on the Reload button doing some serious ego padding!)