In the end I think that justice was done – whilst the Lions are a decent side, their passage to the play-offs and guarantee of home advantage were a testament to the lop sided format of Super 18.
The Crusaders won their 8th title and did it under the most challenging circumstances.
They not only had to cross the Indian Ocean, they had to contend with the 60,000 plus crowd screaming for the Lions, altitude and South African officials.
They undoubtedly benefited from the red card for Smith, but they scored three tries to two and their defence was tremendous – just as it has been all season.
Coach Scott Robertson became the first one to win Super Rugby as both a player and a coach and celebrated in an unusual way.
To be fair to the Lions they came back strongly from 25-3 down and the 14 looked at one point that they could even overturn the Crusaders.
Had the Lions won it would have been even more embarrassing for Sanzaar and they will no doubt be thanking their lucky stars (who were wearing grey) at the final whistle.
Just for info, I had the Crusaders winning by 7 points (see ‘Final Analysis’ post – Friday August 4th) – so I was one point out!
We can only hope that the future for Super Rugby gets sorted (some hope!)