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Crusaders tame Lions for 9th Super title

AFP CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AFP-Jiji) — Richie Mo’unga pulled all the strings as the Canterbury Crusaders beat the Golden Lions 37-18 to claim a ninth Super Rugby title and their second in a row on Saturday in Christchurch.

The defending champions produced a heroic defensive effort, with Mo’unga clinically engineering the points when chances arose.

The fly-half had a hand in all the scoring moves as the Crusaders led 20-6 at halftime, and then responded with a try after both of the Lions’ tries in the second period.

The South African visitors enjoyed nearly two-thirds of possession and territory throughout the final, but could not produce the variety of play to crack the Crusaders’ defense.

The Crusaders outscored the Lions by four converted tries to two and Mo’unga added three penalties as Super Rugby’s dominant side stretched its winning streak to 15 matches.

In last year’s final in Johannesburg, the Lions trailed 25-3 at halftime before losing 25-17.

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