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Crusaders player ratings vs Chiefs | Super Rugby Aotearoa Final

By Nick Turnbull

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The Crusaders have done it again! Their unprecedented reign as the most dominant Super Rugby franchise in Aotearoa was ensured after an enthralling 24-13 victory over the brave Chiefs at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch this evening.

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Famed for their culture, the Crusaders had to dig deep to find a path to victory as at one stage they had All Blacks Codie Taylor and Sevu Reece on the sidelines after both receiving yellow cards for dangerous play. But find a way they did and the trophy will remain in Christchurch for another year.

This is how the Crusaders rated:

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Crusaders assistant coach Tamati Ellison previews Super Rugby Aotearoa final

1. George Bower – 7/10

Was a powerful in the set piece as expected yet he also contributed effectively around the breakdown on both sides of the ball.

2. Codie Taylor (VC) – 6.5

An off night by his standards. Whilst he was effective and did his basics well, he didn’t appear to have the work rate in defence or attack as he has shown earlier in the tournament. An uncharacteristic yellow card in the second half put pressure onto his side.

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3. Michael Alaalatoa – 7

Solid anchor in the scum. Was industrious around the park and physical in the contact. A dependable shift.

4. Scott Barrett (C) – 7.5

Lead the side well and also managed the relationship with Ben O’Keefe admirably as his side were way ahead on the penalty count. Worked tirelessly around the breakdown that resulted in the Chiefs getting slow ball. A Captains knock indeed.

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5. Samuel Whitelock – 8

He was huge in the lineout being the main man for his side but also causing all sorts of issues for the Chiefs. This coupled with his work on the ground was telling tonight. Quality forward showing no signs of ageing.

6. Ethan Blackadder – 7

Much to like about his game, especially his work through the middle of the park when on the attack. His running was forceful and was a handful for the Chiefs all night. Defensively he was sound without being staunch but overall a quality night out.

7. Tom Sanders – 7.5

For a bloke who wasn’t expecting to start I thought ‘The Colonel’ was superb tonight. Outside of his toughness the signature of his play is his second efforts. If he does one thing, he often follows it up with another. Memorable effort tonight.

8. Cullen Grace – 8

Defensively probably the best Crusader forward on the park. Just a ‘True Grit’ performance by him this evening and what I liked was he appeared to find another gear when others were tiering. I surprised he was replaced.

9. Mitchell Drummond – 7.5

A solid but unspectacular scrum half performance. He gave his side the rhythm and tempo they enjoy. The best compliment I can give him is look how much time Richie Mo’unga had to weave his magic tonight. Drummond played his part in that.

10. Richie Mo’unga – 9

Sublime to watch. One of the most complete performances by a first five in a Super Rugby Final since its inception in 1996. Yes, there was an error or two to prove to us he is still human but his option taking and execution were next level. One for the ages.

11. George Bridge – 7.5

Was a determined performance by him and he was a handful for the Chiefs. Looked for work off his wing and was hard into contact. Starting to show his All-Black form again.

12. David Havili (VC) – 8.5

If there wasn’t a bloke called Richie Mo’unga this bloke would have been the best player on the park. He was arguably the most intelligent player out there. He knew what to do and when to do it without overplaying his hand or suffocating those around him. Unsung hero.

13. Leicester Fainga’anuku – 8

What a performance! He was immense in attack and made multiple meters time and tiem again getting his side on the front foot but what really pleased was his defensive effort. Keeping Anton Leinert-Brown quiet is a effort worth remembering.

14. Sevu Reece – 7

Outside of his yellow card for a high shot he was having a solid game, scoring a cracking try early on and pinching a few turnovers yet he had a few defensive misses as well. A fair night out but not his best.

15. Will Jordan – 7.5

He was dangerous, but a times dangerous to his own side with some poor option taking. Yet the positives far outweighed the negatives and he was, as always exciting to watch. However, to be fair, he wasn’t the best 15 on the park tonight.

Reserves:

16. Brodie McAlister – 7

Did well when having to come on when Codie Taylor was sin-binned.

17. Tamaiti Williams – 7

The Big Unit did his bit.

18. Oliver Jager – 7.5

The Irishman made the required impact when coming on. Really enjoyed his physicality and

19. Mitchell Dunshea – N/A

Didn’t see enough.

20. Whetu Douglas – 7

Did his job.

21. Bryn Hall – 7

Pretty much picked up from where Mitch Drummond left off. Quality service and support game.

22. Dallas McLeod – N/A

23. Braydon Ennor – 6

Great to see him back but didn’t see much from him.

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Crusaders player ratings vs Chiefs | Super Rugby Aotearoa Final

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