Crusaders

Mo'unga claims Crusaders gong

Five awards were presented throughout the evening, with the Rookie of the Year, Forward of the Year, Back of the Year and Player of the Year all decided by the Crusaders coaching group.

One further award, the Champion Crusader of the Year, is a peer-voted award recognising a player's overall contribution to the team environment both on and off the field.

21-year-old prop Tamaiti Williams was named Rookie of the Year following an impressive debut season for the club, while Crusaders vice-captains Codie Taylor and David Havili won Forward and Back of the Year, respectively.

Crusaders confirm Sydney trip to play Rebels for finals push

Crusaders boss Colin Mansbridge on Sunday confirmed the match against the Melbourne-based Rebels would be played at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday (4.35pm NZT).

Victoria's latest Covid-19 enforced lockdown had already forced Sanzaar to relocate two matches – Highlanders v Rebels and Chiefs v Rebels – to Leichhardt Oval in Sydney’s west.

Unlike the first two relocated games, Saturday’s match was scheduled as a home game for the Rebels.

The Crusaders will depart Christchurch on Thursday, and will know exactly what they need to do to crack the final come kickoff.

Advantage Blues as Crusaders slip up

The Crusaders earlier beat the Western Force 29-21 in the opening match of the round but were left ruing a try after the hooter from the visitors that also cost them a bonus point.

The Blues top the standings by a point from the Crusaders with the Hurricanes, who play the ACT Brumbies on Saturday, a further three points back in third. The top two after next week's final round will play off for the title.

Crusaders rest key All Blacks for Super Rugby Trans-Tasman clash against Western Force

Mo’unga is one of four players who started in last week’s 54-28 thumping of the Waratahs in Wollongong who have been benched or rested for this Friday’s match at Orangetheory Stadium.

In his place has come 21-year-old first-five Fergus Burke, who will start in his first-ever game for the Crusaders.

Mo’unga, who has been the subject of plenty of attention in recent weeks due to his sterling performances in Super Rugby this season, will be joined on the sidelines by two other All Blacks, Sam Whitelock and Sevu Reece, who both started off the bench last week.

Crusaders extend Waratahs losing record

The loss was the Waratahs' 11th in a row this year and leaves them one defeat short of equaling Melbourne Rebels' record 12-game losing streak for an Australian team in Super Rugby.

Eight different players scored tries for the Crusaders while Richie Mo'unga kicked 14 points as Scott Robertson's side moved back to within a point of the Hurricanes.

The New Zealanders took an early lead through Mitchell Drummond's eighth minute try, but the kicking of Will Harrison kept the Waratahs in touch and the Crusaders were made to work for the win.

Crusaders thrash Reds to underline New Zealand dominance

The All Blacks first five-eighth scored a hat-trick of tries and kicked eight conversions as the Super Rugby Aotearoa champions were emphatic 63-28 winners over Super Rugby AU champions Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.

The Crusaders scored nine tries in front of a crowd of 20,000, with Sevu Reece grabbing a brace and Cullen Grace, Codie Taylor, Tamaiti Williams and a penalty try further inflating the scoreline and earning them a record win over the Reds.

Crusaders not fooled by depleted Reds' limp loss to Highlanders

The Crusaders’ head coach expects a vastly different team to front against them in Brisbane on Saturday night, not one still coming down from a triumphant final, and one missing a host of key players.

He also knows the Super Rugby Aotearoa champion Crusaders must be significantly better in multiple areas after their tense 31-29 win against the Brumbies in Christchurch on Saturday night.

NZ teams go unbeaten in round one of Super Rugby trans-Tasman

Domingo Miotti missed a chance to see the Western Force to a home win over the Chiefs in Perth as they went down 20-19 while Noah Lolesio missed a similar last-gasp chance to earn the ACT Brumbies a draw with the Crusaders in Christchurch, handing the New Zealanders a 31-29 win.

The Blues, meanwhile, pulverised the Melbourne Rebels 50-3.

The trio of New Zealand wins added to Friday's success for the Highlanders, who outmuscled Australian champions Queensland Reds, and the Hurricanes, who beat the New South Wales Waratahs.

Super Rugby Aotearoa: Crusaders claim 12th title with win over Chiefs

The hosts secured a 12th Super Rugby title, a second in the domestic edition and the fifth in a row.

Winger Sevu Reece and fullback Will Jordan scored tries in the first 16 minutes but thereafter the Crusaders -- reduced to 13 men in the second half with two men in the sin bin -- had to rely on the boot of Richie Mo'unga to keep the Chiefs at bay.

The first five kicked a conversion, three penalties and a drop goal and, just as importantly, banged the ball into the corners to keep the Chiefs in their own half late in the game.

Can the Chiefs overcome history?

The Crusaders won the inaugural edition of the New Zealand competition last season without a final but the big red machine have claimed six of their record 10 Super Rugby titles as hosts, with many of the finals not even close.

The Chiefs have already beaten the Crusaders once in Hamilton this year, however, and coach Clayton McMillan said his squad was heading south confident of what would be a major upset.

"On any given day, any team can be beaten, and we have proven that," he said.