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Crusaders survive two yellow cards against Chiefs to claim Super Rugby Aotearoa title

By AAP
(Photo by Peter Meecham/Getty Images)

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The Canterbury Crusaders have fought off a courageous Waikato Chiefs 24-13 in a thrilling final to retain the Super Rugby Aotearoa title at their Christchurch Stadium fortress.

A packed house was treated to an exhibition of the best of New Zealand rugby from both sides before the hosts secured a 12th Super Rugby title, a second in the domestic edition and a fifth in a row.

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Crusaders assistant coach Tamati Ellison previews the Super Rugby Aotearoa final
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Crusaders assistant coach Tamati Ellison previews the Super Rugby Aotearoa final

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 – had to rely on the boot of their fellow All Black, five-eighth Richie Mo’unga, to keep the Chiefs at arm’s length.

Damian McKenzie scored all the points for the Chiefs, converting his own try and kicking two penalties, but the fullback will rue his usual accuracy from the tee deserting him for a period around halftime when he missed three shots at goal.

Crusaders 24 (Tries to Sevu Reece and Will Jordan; conversion, 3 penalties and drop goal to Richie Mo’unga; yellow cards to Codie Taylor and Reece)

Chiefs 13 (Try to Damian McKenzie; conversion and 2 penalties to McKenzie)

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