Mo’unga shows his class in final

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Mo'unga said he was in awe of what the team had achieved in winning five titles during the last five years.


"I really wanted this one so bad, and it just feels so good. I said to a few of the boys [in the dressing room] 'don't under-estimate what we have done', because it is a hell of an achievement," he said.


The Chiefs went into the final on the back of what he called an 'unreal' season, in which they ended an 11-game losing streak.


"The turnaround, credit to their leaders and the boys who stepped up for them. You can't under-estimate that as well," he said.


Winning titles was what the Crusaders did, and that success was built on 'pressure and care', and it was what the team thrived on in the way they went about their game plan, the pressure they put on opponents and the care they showed with their effort. Success could be the outcome of achieving that pressure and care, he said.


When they got down to the final quarter with the Chiefs still in the game, they decided to hold onto the ball for longer to deny the Chiefs chances by slowing play down as much as they could.


Mo'unga said always playing with a target on their backs was a challenge, but also a privilege. And despite that, their pressure, care and vision never wavered.



"We stay strong through thick and thin, good times and bad and we're in a team where you've just got to nail your own job and don't worry about anything else," he said.


Mo'unga said he enjoyed the intensity of finals play, and there had been parts of the second half where he had to try and take control, but it had been a team effort and, being reduced to 13 men at one stage, it made the win even sweeter.


Mo'unga gave credit to his five-eighths partner David Havili whose grubber kick set up the first try for fullback Will Jordan.


He was a tough player, and while his silky skills were obvious, he also did some damage with his shoulders. It was good to play inside him as his passing and kicking skills were also outstanding.


"It's nothing new, we all knew he was capable of this. He did it at 15 [fullback], he's just doing it in a different position and it just shows the utility that he has and his skills, he can play anywhere," he said.


Centre Leicester Fainga'anuku had impressed with a powerful game, and Mo'unga said his leg drive made him a difficult proposition to stop in the tackle.


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