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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 May, 2005, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Canterbury claim Super 12 crown
Justin Marshall celebrates Canterbury's Super 12 triumph
Canterbury (14) 35
Tries: Hamilton, Hewett, MacDonald, Ralph
Cons: Carter 3
Pens: Carter 2
Drop: Mauger
NSW (6) 25
Tries: Rogers (2), Waugh
Cons: Hewat, Rogers
Pens: Hewat 2
Canterbury Crusaders beat the New South Wales Waratahs 35-25 to win their fifth Super 12 title in 10 years.

A try from winger Scott Hamilton helped the Crusaders to a 14-6 half-time lead before prop Dave Hewett touched down in his last game for the province.

Further scores from Leon MacDonald and Caleb Ralph stretched the lead.

But the Crusaders were made to work for the win after a late try from Phil Waugh and two scores from Mat Rogers almost sparked a Waratahs comeback.

The game at Jade Stadium in Christchurch marked the end of an era, both for the Crusaders and the competition.

It was the last in Crusaders colours for Hewett and veteran half-backs Justin Marshall and Andrew Mehrtens.

And it was the last final for the championship in its 12-team format, as two more sides will be added next season.

"A big season culminated in one really good performance," said Canterbury captain Richie McCaw, whose side included a host of players who are likely to line up for the All Blacks against the Lions.

"It was tough but what a great way to send off those guys who are leaving.

"It was disappointing to let them in for a couple of tries at the end but I guess we judged it all right."

Waratahs captain Chris Whitaker admitted his side had been outplayed in their first Super 12 final.

"The Crusaders are a great team and we just didn't play smart enough in that first half and let them get away from us," he said.

"They have a very good counterattack and they caned us sometimes."


Crusaders: L MacDonald, R Gear, C Ralph, A Mauger, S Hamilton, D Carter, J Marshall; D Hewett, C Flynn, G Somerville, C Jack, R Filipo, R Thorne, R McCaw (capt), M Tuiali'i.
Replacements: T Kopelani, C Johnstone, S Broomhall, J Leo'o, J Nutbrown, A Mehrtens, C Laulala.

Waratahs: M Rogers, P Hewat, M Turinui, N Grey, L Tuqiri, L McKay, C Whitaker (capt); M Dunning, B Cannon, A Baxter, J Harrison, D Vickerman, R Elsom, P Waugh, D Lyons.
Replacements: A Freier, G Hardy, A Kanaar, S Hoiles, C O'Young, S Berne, C Shepherd.




SEE ALSO
Brumbies claim Super 12 title
22 May 04 |  Rugby Union
Blues claim Super 12 crown
24 May 03 |  Rugby Union


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