Crusaders is not just another team in the world of rugby. It’s about the team more winner in the history of Super Rugby, and being from New Zealand, land of the All Blacks, it could surely be considered the most important in the world.
An Argentine will play there: Pablo Matera, as confirmed by the club itself in the early hours of Friday, April 30, which will remain as a resounding date for Argentine fans of the oval sport.
The Christchurch team is today four-time champion of the Southern Hemisphere tournament. But next week he could add a new star, when he plays the final against Chiefs in the second edition of Super Rugby Aotearoa, which he already knew how to conquer in 2020, given the new normal imposed by the pandemic.
The current success of Crusaders comes from the hand of its driver: Scott Robertson, who praised the virtues of work and leadership of Matera, when welcoming him. Robertson was appointed as the Crusaders coach in June 2016, and from then on, he still didn’t know what it’s not like to have the trophy in his hands. In the 2017 final, his team topped South African powerhouse Lions 25-17, becoming the second head coach in history to be crowned at SR in his freshman year (Dave Rennie had done it with Chiefs in 2012).
About a year later, on August 4, 2018, I was going to get it again. The victim? The same as in the previous season, although this time the result was more bulky (37-18).
His characteristic dances in the festivities gave account of his way of living a two-time championship as head coach of the team in which he played between 1996-2003. But, far from being satisfied, in 2019, his team would once again prove to be the owner of rugby in the Southern Hemisphere. On that occasion, the decisive match was a 19-3 victory over Jaguares in Christchurch. He was already three times champion!
Many things changed in 2020 as a result of the pandemic that affected all the calendars of all sports globally. But there were things that were not changed, and the photo was the same again for the fourth time in a row: Scott Robertson surrounded by the colors of the Crusaders and the champion’s trophy in his hands.
The Christchurch team dominated Super Rugby Aotearoa from start to finish. So much so that he became champion when there was still a date for the end of the tournament.
But there was also history before Robertson as head coach, and it was also associated with success: he lifted the trophy in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006 and 2008. If you add to those achieved by the current coach, there are 10 titles achieved from 1996 to date. In this true monopoly of success that is Crusaders and under the leadership of a coach like Robertson, the arrival of Matera at the club is even more pleasantly surprising.
2020 There was no winner [cancelado por la pandemia]
Super Rugby Aotearoa (NZ)
Super Rugby AU (Australia)
Super Rugby Unbroken (RSA)