Jaco Kriel of the Lions in tears during 2017 Super Rugby Final match between Lions and Crusaders at Ellis Park Stadium. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Eighth minute: A Seta Tamanivalu try from 60 metres out after the Crusaders cleverly turned over possession from an Elton Jantjies pass. That was the opening of the sluice gates for the visitors.

12th: Jack Goodhue try hands the visitors some breathing space and extends their early dominance of proceedings.

17th: Lions centre Harold Vorster makes a desperate try-saving tackle on Israel Dagg, who knocks on with the tryline a handful of metres away, and saves the hosts from losing more ground on the Crusaders.

38th: Kwagga Smith shown a red card for a reckless, but unintentional tackle on fullback David Havili that leaves the Lions reeling with 14 men against a rampant Crusaders side.

44th: Kieran Read’s try extends the Crusaders’ lead to a commanding and almost insurmountable 18 points, which was followed up by a David Havili penalty nine minutes later.

58th: Lions lose crucial lineout five metres from the Crusaders’ try-line, denying them another opportunity to put points on the scoreboard.

66th: Malcolm Marx try gave the Lions a glimmer of hope as they continued to gain front-foot dominance and the Crusaders were starting to look fatigued.

70th: Rohan Janse van Rensburg knocks on the ball centimetres from the tryline and hands the Crusaders much-needed relief with their tryline under siege.

73rd: Corne Fourie’s try keeps the Lions believing that they can pull off another come-from-behind victory, but it is not enough as the Lions sink to their second successive defeat in a Super Rugby final.

Sunday Independent

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