Live updates: Super Rugby final - Crusaders vs Lions

FULLTIME: CRUSADERS 37 - 18 LIONS 

80mins: Crusaders looking to close out the game, putting it through a number of phases but they finally concede the penalty for holding on too long. Mostert wins the lineout for the Lions but this time they breakaway from the drive.

Lions struggling to breach the defence as they approach 17 phases now. Todd concedes the penalty and we'll go again. We'll have a lineout. Ball is ripped away and kicked into touch! Fulltime! Crusaders win again!

77mins: Read makes a good tackle as the Lions look to make their way into the Crusaders 22m. They go right but are penalised for obstruction.

75mins: Crusaders quite happy to keep ball in hand and play their way out of trouble. Whitelock makes a strong carry as the phase count approaches 13 but concede the penalty for holding on.

72mins: Read spins out of one tackle before finally being tackled. Crusaders go left to Samu and there's a bit of space for him. Crusaders turn it over but the Lions knock on.

70mins: CRUSADERS TRY - BARRETT: Dyantyi shows good feet again before the Lions kick upfield for Read to charge it back. Bridge goes cleans through! He links up with Drummond, he fires it to Samu and he's tackled just a couple of metres out. They go quickly to Barrett and he bashes his way over for the try!

68mins: LIONS TRY - MARX: Lions claim the lineout ball and the Crusaders again defend the maul well before Crotty's shown the yellow card for coming in at the side of the tackle. Lions win the lineout and try the drive, Marx breaks away. Marx gets it again and bashes his way over the try line.

66mins: Lions doing well to keep possession but the Crusaders defence up to the challenge before they concede the penalty for a dangerous tackle.

64mins: Havili takes in Jantjies' kick-off and gives it to Samu to run it back. Crusaders try and go quickly, but Goodhue knocks on for the Lions to now counter. Mapoe frees up Combrinck and he almost goes over in the corner. 

62mins: CRUSADERS TRY - DRUMMOND: Mo'unga shows nice feet and almost goes through. Crusaders putting it through the phases, taking it up the middle through their forwards. Mo'unga again almost goes through, Todd hits the line, offloads to Taylor and puts Drummond in under the sticks for the try.

60mins: The Lions are just 10 points behind and opt for the shot at goal. Interesting, but you have to think the Crusaders will be happy with them doing so. It's a tough kick for Combrinck and he hooks it left.

58mins: Cronje's in a bit of space from the scrum, finds Combrick and he's tackled nicely on right wing. Jantjies tries the cross-field kick and Tamanivalu knocks on before conceding the penalty for holding on.

56mins: Combrinck puts up the bomb and the Crusaders knock on for the Lions to attack through Dyantyi. Whiteley throws a loss pass and it goes into touch and the Crusaders again take it quickly.

54mins: LIONS TRY - BRINK: Brink gets the ball, bumps off Todd, fends off Bedwell-Curtis and races away 20 odd metres to score the Lions' first try. Great piece of individual brilliance. Is there life for the Lions? 

52mins: Lions struggling to find gaps in the Crusaders defence but the hosts concede another penalty and Jantjies finds touch inside the 10m. Another maul then?

50mins: Lions' scrum send the Crusaders pack marching backwards but concede the penalty for popping up. Little going the way of the visitors.

49mins: Lions not learning from previous failings and again their maul is driven backwards. They still have it as Marx makes a strong charge up the middle. Jantjies has a crack, reaches out for the line but he's JUST short. We'll come back for another offside penalty.

47mins: Lions now putting it through a number of phases, slowly working their way upto the Crusaders 22m and Smith almost goes through but we'll come back for a penalty. Franks was offside.

45mins: Jantjies goes long with the restart and Havili takes it in. Read charges up the middle before Mo'unga kicks only as far as the 10m for the Lions to attack.

43mins: Crusaders putting it through the phases, taking it into contact up the middle. Brink is penalised for not rolling away and Mo'unga will have a shot at goal. He lines it up and sends it home to extend the lead.

41mins: We're back underway and it's Mo'unga who kicks-off for Skosan to run it back. Jantjies clears and finds touch on halfway but Havili takes it quickly.

HALFTIME: CRUSADERS 20 - 6 LIONS

40mins: Skosan shows good feet and bursts into a hole! He steps another but his pass is intercepted and the Crudaders clear down field. Combrick fires a long pass straight into touch. Halftime.

39mins: Lions looking to attack up the middle through their forwards and they have the advantage. They're not making any progress so we'll come back. Todd was offside and Jantjies slots the easy penalty. 

37mins: Moody is penalised for a neck-roll on Marx and the Lions will have a lineout just 10m out from the try line. They absolutely need to score here. 

35mins: CRUSADERS TRY - HAVILI: Barrett takes in the Lions' restart and Hall kicks from the base. Jantjies' kick is taken easily by Mo'una on the run and he's through! He links up with Goodhue and Mapoe makes a great tackle to keep him out. Numbers out wide and Havili's in for the try! Jantjies is just horrific.

32mins: Lions piling the pressure on at the scrum but it's the visitors who are penalised for "not holding" their weight. Mo'unga slots the easy shot at goal to extend the Crusaders' lead.

30mins: Crusaders manage to get the ball back from the scrum before Mo'unga sends it down field for Coetzee to counter. Janties tries the kick over the top but is marked easily by Mo'unga. Jantjies makes the mistake, takes it back and dots down for a Crusaders scrum 5m out.

28mins: Mostert wins the lineout this time and again make no progress at all with the drive. Dreyer loses the ball forward in contact. So much territory, little to show.

26mins: Orie gets up to win the lineout and again the Crusaders send their driving maul backwards before conceding the penalty. Jantjies puts it into the corner for another lineout. Lions struggling to get a maul going.

25mins: Moody goes down twice and is rightly penalised at the scrum. Combrinck finds touch just five metres out from the try line.

23mins: Lions looking to attack direct but the Crusaders do well to hold up Vorster and force the maul and then the turnover.

21mins: CRUSADERS TRY - TAMANIVALU: Bedwell-Curtis is put through half a gap and almost goes through. Crusaders fire it wide to Tamanivalu, he bumps off Combrink, rides the tackle of Mostert and dots down for the game's opening try.

19mins: Tamanivalu takes it up the middle once again from the lineout win. They go wide through Bridge, he tries stepping in field and putting his head down for the try line but he's tackled into touch.

17mins: Mo'unga clears down field and Coetzee shows to kick before slipping. Lions still in possession, but Coetzee is penalised for sealing off at the breakdown.

15mins: Read gets up to win the lineout for the Crusaders and Tamanivalu makes a strong charge up the middle. Vorster attacks the ball at the ruck and concedes the penalty. Looked to have rights to it. Mo'unga kicks the penalty and we're all tied up.

13mins: Hall's kick doesn't find too much distance and the Lions have it once again just outside the Crusaders 22m. Barrett concedes another penalty at the breakdown and Jantjies slots the kick at goal to give the Lions the lead.

11mins: Moody made contact with Orie too early at the lineout jump but escapes being penalised and instead the Lions concede the turnover for a Crusaders scrum. Great maul defence from the defending champs.

9mins: Lions playing with plenty of intent, taking the direct approach. Vorster spots space behind the Crusaders defence and Bridge fumbles it into touch for a Lions lineout just 5m out.

7mins: Both packs struggling to settle for the first scrum of the game and the Lions concede the free-kick. Mo'unga clears up to the Crusaders 10m for a Lions lineout.

5mins: Lions going backwards, Combrinck cleans up, rights across field and he goes clean through! He beats Mo'unga and is tackled just a metre out. Lions putting it through the phases but the Crusaders defence are up to it. Lions knock on at the ruck.

3mins: Jantjies tries the cross-field kick, Marx can't hang on and Crotty kicks through for the Lions hooker to dive onto. Barrett makes a good tackle but holds on too long and is penalised.

1mins: We're underway and it's Jantjies who kicks-off for Barrett to take in. Hall fires it to Mo'unga, he hooks his kick and finds touch just outside the 22m.

7:32pm: Weather's absolutely perfect. Whitelock leads the Crusaders out onto the field. Just moments away from kick-off.

7:30pm: Sold out crowd at AMI Stadium so plenty interest from the locals. Players from both teams cuddling for the last time in the sheds before making their way out.

7:25pm: Here's also hoping there's little negative stuff to talk about tomorrow and we don't have any cards, or contentious decisions from the officials.

7:22pm: Few giving the Lions chance, but even as a Crusaders fan, you'd surely want a game of it? If the visitors are to get up and cause the upset, it'll no doubt be from the work of Malcolm Marx, the world's best hooker.

7:20pm: Well, we're finally here. The 2018 Super Rugby season comes to a close as the Crusaders look to win back-to-back titles with victory over the Lions tonight.

Kia ora and welcome to AMI Stadium as the Crusaders play the Lions in the 2018 Super Rugby final.

We bring you live streaming written commentary, (BE SURE TO REFRESH YOUR BROWSER), and all the action.

Commentary will start at 7.20pm.

Lineups

Crusaders
15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.

Replacements: 16 Sam Anderson-Heather/Andrew Makalio, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Braydon Ennor.

Lions
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrink, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.

Replacements: 16 Corné Fourie, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 23 Howard Mnisi.

Live updates: Super Rugby final - Crusaders vs Lions

Match officials
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Referees: Glen Jackson, Nic Berry
TMO: Shane McDermott

Previous results
01 Apr 2018 Crusaders v Lions 14-8 Johannesburg
05 Aug 2017 Final Crusaders v Lions 25-17 Johannesburg
23 Jul 2016 Crusaders v Lions 25-42 Johannesburg
01 Apr 2016 Crusaders v Lions 43-37 Johannesburg
14 Mar 2015 Crusaders v Lions 34-6 Christchurch
05 Apr 2014 Crusaders v Lions 28-7 Johannesburg

Head-to-head

Crusaders $1.10 Lions $7.00

Live updates: Super Rugby final - Crusaders vs Lions

Pre-match banter: Crusaders rubbish Lions' claim they cheat at scrum time

The Crusaders have rubbished suggestions from Lions coach Swys de Bruin that prop Joe Moody cheats at scrum time, as tempers flare ahead of Saturday night's Super Rugby final.

Speaking to South African media earlier in the week, de Bruin appealed to referee Angus Gardiner to scrutinise Moody, whom he perceived as getting away with blue murder.

Crusaders assistant coach Jason Ryan has returned fire, praising Moody's credentials and identifying Lions prop Ruan Dreyer as the second-most penalised prop in Super Rugby.

"I have heard it all before and it always comes up just before, usually, when we name Joe Moody - just because he is the best in the world," Ryan said on Friday.

"We are going up against one of the most penalised tightheads [Dreyer] in Super Rugby for two years running.

"We have our plan, we know what we want to do. We just want to hit square and play channel one - that is what we have done all year."

It's nothing new for the Crusaders, who faced similar accusations in recent weeks from the Sharks and Hurricanes coaching staffs.

Ryan said that Moody intimidate opposition scrum coaches so they ultimately have to try a different tact to upset him.

Ryan said it wouldn't work.

"All I know that is when Joe is at his best, there are not may tighthead props, if any, that can hold him down.

"It is more than just Joe. We have to back that our strength as an eight will be good enough."

Gunning for back-to-back titles, Ryan acknowledged the Lions scrum was a major hurdle to overcome in their push for victory.

With the South African conference champions steamrolling the Waratahs at set-piece a week ago, Ryan said the Crusaders must respect what they had to offer.

"They are scrummaging well, they scrum a lot different to us.

"They have got a mindset to be destructive and keep the ball at the back of the scrum; scrum for a penalty, whereas it is not often something we do.

"That is their point of difference and we have our point of difference as well."

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