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Super Rugby
Crusaders 'absolutely gutted' by grand final defeat
Andy Withers
August 2, 2014
NSW Waratahs 33-32 Crusaders (Australia only)

Kieran Read takes no consolation from the Crusaders' outstanding performance in their one-point defeat by New South Wales Waratahs in the Super Rugby grand final at ANZ Stadium in Sunday, saying "we only came here for one result".

The Crusaders looked set for a tough night when they slipped to a 14-point deficit at a point a minute in the opening quarter, but the seven-time champions showed their class and courage to stand on the verge of another title victory when they led the Tahs by two points with less than five minutes to play

"It's disappointing not to get that win," Read said with classic understatement. "We'll look back on it and we'll be proud of exactly how we played in the future. But it's a game where there's a winner and a loser, and that's how we're feeling at the moment.

"We're absolutely gutted."

"We only came here for one result, and it's disappointing not to get that win. We'll look back on it and we'll be proud of exactly how we played in the future. But it's a game where there's a winner and a loser, and that's how we're feeling at the moment."

Kieran Read and Todd Blackadder lament the Crusaders' slow start and the '50-50 decision' to award the match-deciding penalty

Todd Blackadder was unconvinced by the match-deciding penalty awarded against Richie McCaw, for entering a ruck from the side, saying the decision was "50-50, I thought".

"Could have gone either way," the Crusaders coach said. "It comes down to those moments, doesn't it. There's nothing between the sides … it comes down to those moments between winning the competition and not.

"I'd like to see it again."

Blackadder said "we had our opportunities, we gave ourselves the chance to win", but he and his captain were left to lament the Crusaders' slow start to the game.

"We definitely started slowly," Read said. "It's hard to pinpoint why … but they certainly took full advantage. It was pretty tough to come back from that. In the end, we couldn't.

"I'm proud of the way we fought back. I felt we did enough to get enough control of the game. But one kick in the end. That's what happens in these games. They were good enough to take it.

"We controlled the second half pretty well, and we had them in a position of strength from our point of view, but they stuck to what they did best right at the end. That phase where they held the ball for a few phases and got that penalty was probably the crucial one.

"We probably didn't need to give away any of those penalties because we're probably fit enough to defend it; it showed because they weren't going anywhere, but it's just the way it goes."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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