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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 May 2006, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Crusaders power to Super 14 title
Crusaders' Chris Jack
Crusaders' Chris Jack takes good line-out ball in foggy Christchurch
Canterbury Crusaders claimed the inaugural Super 14 title as they beat fellow Kiwis Wellington Hurricanes 19-12 in a fog-bound Christchurch.

Crusaders centre Casey Laulala crossed for the only try of the match midway through the second half with All Black fly-half Dan Carter kicking 14 points.

Wellington answered with goals from Piri Weepu, David Holwell and two from Jimmy Gopperth.

But they were unable to stop Crusaders building on last year's Super 12 win.

The Hurricanes, appearing in their first Super rugby final, were still in the game at 9-9 with just 15 minutes to go when Laulala crashed over from close range to put the Crusaders in control.

The Crusaders won the old Super 12 title a record five times and were favourites to win the first expanded competition after finishing the regular season in first place.

Despite the poor visibility, the abundance of All Blacks talent on both sides ensured an entertaining final, with ample use of the high ball which severely tested handling skills.

But with both sets of players aware it was a final chance to impress New Zealand coach Graham Henry before he names his first squad of the year on Sunday, the intensity of the match never let up from the first whistle.



SEE ALSO
Canterbury claim Super 12 crown
28 May 05 |  Rugby Union
Brumbies claim Super 12 title
22 May 04 |  Rugby Union
Blues claim Super 12 crown
24 May 03 |  Rugby Union


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