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Crusaders © Gallo Images

Only one star from Crusaders in Super Rugby team



Winger George Bridge was the only star from champions Crusaders to be included in the official Super Rugby team of the season released on Tuesday.

Bridge scored 15 tries during a season which ended last Saturday with Crusaders defeating the Emirates Lions of South Africa 37-18 in the final in Christchurch.

His try haul was the equal second best in the competition this year, bettered only by the 16 of Ben Lam, the Wellington Hurricanes winger who did not make the team.

Crusaders were the outstanding team this season as they achieved a record-extending ninth title and second in a row, having also beaten the Lions in the 2017 final.

They won 14 of 16 regular-season matches, then achieved convincing victories over the Sharks, Hurricanes and Lions in the knockout phase.

Super Rugby organisers SANZAAR justified the selections, saying on its website that they were "based on a comprehensive statistical index that monitors in detail every action of every match".

Four of the choices came from beaten quarterfinalists the Chiefs -- winger Solomon Alaimalo, centre Anton Lienert-Brown, flyhalf Damian McKenzie and lock Brodie Retallick.

McKenzie was named player of the season.

"McKenzie's statistics are pretty impressive... including beating 74 defenders and amassing 177 points during the season," SANZAAR said.

Only three of the 15 Super Rugby teams -- the Brumbies, Highlanders and Rebels -- did not have a player in the team.

TEAMS (15-1):

Israel Folau (Waratahs); Solomon Alaimalo, Anton Lienert-Brown (both Chiefs), Michael Little (Sunwolves), George Bridge (Crusaders); Damian McKenzie (Chiefs), TJ Perenara (Hurricanes); Akira Ioane (Blues), Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks), Pablo Matera (Jaguares); Lood de Jager (Bulls), Brodie Retallick (Chiefs); Taniela Tupou (Reds), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers)



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