Aaron Cruden hails conquering Chiefs
August 3, 2013
The Chiefs overcome a strong challenge from the Brumbies (video available only in Australia)
Aaron Cruden has hailed the character of the Chiefs team that fought back to win the Super Rugby final at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand, after being put under huge pressure, if not dominated, by the Brumbies.
"The Brumbies really tested us in the first 60 minutes and we had our backs against the wall," the Chiefs fly-half said. "But as a good Chiefs team does, we came out fighting and were able to get home in the end. "It's massive [getting successive titles]. It's a goal we set right at the start of the year. To come through the journey that we have and succeed in achieving that goal is pretty satisfying."
Cruden, meanwhile, was relieved rather than satisfied with his personal contribution having endured a mixed night as the nominated goal kicker after coach Dave Rennie preferred him to recognised sharpshooter Gareth Anscombe. Cruden kicked six from nine attempts , missing two penalties and a conversion he would normally expect to slot, while Brumbies kicker Christian Leali'ifano landed five penalties and converted his own try; but he stepped up to convert Robbie Robinson's try before seeing a penalty sail through the posts to seal the come-from-behind victory.
"It's been a tricky old season to be fair," said Cruden of his goal-kicking. "I was just stoked to see the last couple go through the posts. As a kicker, you just have to try and kick your way through the bad times and hopefully a few go through the posts - which the last couple did."
Aaron Cruden did not enjoy the best of nights at the kicking tee © Getty Images
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry