The Jaguares impressive season came to an end falling short to the clinical Crusaders to give them their third consecutive Super Rugby trophy. The final score in Christchurch was 19 – 3 in a ferociously fought final and the lowest-scoring final in Super Rugby history. The cold, slippery conditions turned the decider into a defence-dominated contest, which would always be won by the team who took their opportunities best.
The Crusaders have now won their 10th crown, seven more than any other side. It was also their third title in a row, matching their achievement of 1998-2000 and further cementing their undisputed status as a powerhouse in Super Rugby.
The Jaguares were contesting their first final in their fourth season in Super Rugby. The Pumas internationals dominated side have had an impressive run winning 11 out of their last 12 matches in the build-up to the final.
They shaded most of the game’s possession and territory statistics and created three of the game’s clearest try-scoring chances, all to winger Matias Moroni. However, none were finished, while Crusaders hooker Codie Taylor bagged the game’s only try, midway through the first half.
The other 14 points came through five from five shots at goal by Richie Mo’unga. Joaquin Diaz Bonilla scored the only points for the Jaguares with the game’s opening penalty goal.
The two teams had scored 148 tries between them before the final but neither found their rhythm, with Taylor’s score against the run of play handing his team a flattering 10-3 halftime lead.
The try capped some fine build-up work by fellow All Blacks forwards Matt Todd, who ripped the ball clear in a maul, Kieran Read and Sam Whitelock.
In an attempt to bring things back the Jaguares made a lot of handling errors and when it was in kicking range, Mo’unga punished them to add 9 points more points to the hosts, final score 19 – 3.
Try: Codie Taylor
Conversion: Richie Mo’unga
Penalties: Richie Mo’unga (4)
Penalty: Joaquin Diaz Bonilla
15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Mitchell Dunshea, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 George Bower, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Will Jordan
15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Matias Moroni, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente (captain), 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Substitutes: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Sebastian Cancelliere