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Crusaders want to keep record final's run intact

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James Mortimer     01 Jul 2012     Getty Images

While the seven-time champions are the most successful team in the history of Investec Super Rugby, they are also, despite not winning the title since 2008, the best performed Kiwi franchise over the last two seasons.

That position will now be handed over to the Chiefs, who ironically were the best performed New Zealand outfit in 2009, when they lost the final to the Bulls.

Sitting fifth overall holding onto a wildcard position, the Crusaders (52 competition points) have their recent conquerers in the Hurricanes (49) breathing down their necks in sixth spot.

The seventh and eighth placed Reds and Sharks have the same number of points as Mark Hammett's troops, making it congested in the middle of the table.

The Crusaders clash against the Chiefs in Hamilton next week has now been moved into the 'must win' catagory, especially if the Crusaders are to maintain their incredible record in Super Rugby Finals Series.

Since 2002 the Crusaders have qualified for every playoff, and will be looking at their eleventh straight appearance this season, and 14th overall.

They will also be looking at breaking a title drought which now extends into record territory for a Crusaders team, with the current three-season drought the longest time a red and blacks captain hasn't lifted the Super Rugby trophy.

It was also an unwelcome 100th Super Rugby game celebration for prop Wyatt Crockett, with Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder unhappy with how his team had performed for the new centurion.

"He deserves better than guys putting in mediocre performances out there," he said.