Crusaders grit it out against Jaguares to defend Super Rugby title

The Crusaders continued their dominance of Super Rugby as they overcame Jaguares 19-3 in Saturday's final in Christchurch to claim a third successive title.

Despite falling behind to an early penalty, the Crusaders never looked likely to relinquish their crown once Codie Taylor's try had put them in front midway through the first half.

Scott Robertson's side were without influential New Zealand duo Ryan Crotty and Scott Barrett for the clash, but fine kicking from Richie Mo'unga helped the defending champions edge further ahead.

The fly-half wrapped up the win in style late on, sending a 45-yard kick through the posts to cap off Crusaders' 10th Super Rugby title.

Jaguares started brightly and were rewarded when Joaquin Diaz Bonilla put them 3-0 up after the Crusaders were penalised for offside.

Pablo Matera delivered a huge hit on Braydon Ennor as the Crusaders looked to settle into the contest, and the Canterbury side finally made a breakthrough in the 25th minute.

Sam Whitelock raced clear after a turnover down the left flank before slipping a neat inside pass to Taylor, who bundled over, with Mo'unga adding the extras.

Jaguares would have had the chance to at least pull level before the break if not for a superb tackle by David Havili to deny Matias Moroni a certain try, with Matias Orlando then passing up a great opportunity for the Argentinian side after the restart.

The Crusaders made their good fortune count - Mo'unga, who had nudged them further ahead with a penalty on the stroke of half-time, converting two further kicks to extend their lead.

And after Moroni just failed to latch onto a punt into Crusaders' in-goal area, Mo'unga had the final say when his long-range penalty dropped just through the sticks to end Jaguares' hopes.

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