Super Rugby Pacific: Crusaders coach Scott Robertson relishes chance to add another title to already record haul

If one man knows better than anyone exactly what it takes to win a Super Rugby title, it's Scott Robertson.

Of all the titles Crusaders have won since Super Rugby's 1996 inception, Robertson has been involved in 10 of them - four as a player and six as a coach.

On Saturday, Robertson and the Crusaders will compete for title No.14 - and a seventh in seven years - travelling to face the Chiefs on their Hamilton home ground.

This current run of titles has already seen the Crusaders topple the Chiefs, with a 24-13 final victory in Christchurch two years ago.

This time around, the shoe will be on the other foot, with the Crusaders denied home advantage - under the same circumstances they faced in 2022, when they defeated the Blues at Eden Park

Saturday will also be Robertson's last final with the Crusaders - for now at least - before he succeeds Ian Foster as All Blacks head coach next year.

Even with all the experience of 10 titles - and six in the past six years - Robertson still feels the excitement of a decider.

"It never gets old, preparing for a final," he said. "These weeks are special in their own way - you make it special. 

"It's a one-off game. You prepare with the deepest prep, you've got to enjoy it. 

"You know you're walking into a pressure environment. Crusaders love these moments."

Leicester Fainga'anuku and Scott Robertson celebrate (2022).
Leicester Fainga'anuku and Scott Robertson celebrate (2022). Photo credit: Getty Images

Aside from the Crusaders, who have enjoyed the two biggest titlewinning streaks - with three in three years from 1998-2000 - no other Super Rugby side have ever won more than two titles back-to-back.

The last side to do it happen to be the Chiefs in 2012-13, now looking to end that 10-year wait for a championship this weekend.

Throughout this year's playoff campaign, the Crusaders haven't been able to look forward to a final. Their quarter-final was underpinned by the need to avoid defeat to Super Rugby newcomers Fijian Drua.

Last week provided a semi-final grudge match against the Blues, a rematch of the 2022 decider. With both of those matches won, the Crusaders relish the chance to add to their already historic run. 

"Last week, there was a bit of uncertainty," said Robertson. "This week, you know you're in the final.

Scott Robertson breakdances in celebration (2021).
Scott Robertson breakdances in celebration (2021). Photo credit: Photosport

"You've got the opportunity to do something pretty special. To have the opportunity to go seven in a row means a lot to this group.

"We've been very focussed all year, we've worked really hard in our daily habits in enjoying and having the energy that's required day after day to give ourselves this opportunity on Saturday night."

Join Newshub at 7pm Saturday for live updates of the Chiefs v Crusaders Super Rugby Pacific final