Richie Mo’unga enters his last Super Rugby season for the Crusaders before heading to Japan having already cemented a legacy unrivalled.
The case for Mo’unga as the greatest player in Super Rugby history is compelling. His success under Scott Robertson could be said to be a byproduct of the system and environment he is in.
Surrounded by great players, coaching and system, the Crusaders have elevated Mo’unga’s talent. But why the No 10 is in the conversation as the greatest ever above others from his Crusaders team such as Sam Whitelock, a great himself with 174 Crusaders caps, is simple.
Richie Mo’unga officially signs in Japan
All Blacks star Richie Mo’unga is heading to Japanese club rugby after the 2023 Rugby World Cup, signing with Toshiba Brave Lupus.
The engine room ought to lay a platform, but the playmakers need to make the plays as highlighted through out the records of the competition. Test rugby may also require revel in from a No 10 however Super Rugby has always required flair and attacking genius.
Super Rugby groups with out a dynamic, global calibre first five-eighth in their high do not win championships.
A younger Whitelock went identify-less through the returned give up of Carter’s career with near very last losses until Richie Mo’unga arrived. Carlos Spencer with the Blues, Stephen Larkham with the Brumbies, Andrew Mehrtens and Dan Carter with the Crusaders via the late 90s and 2000s.
The listing is going on with Quade Cooper with the Reds, Lima Sopoaga of the Highlanders, Aaron Cruden with the Chiefs and Beauden Barrett with the Hurricanes inside the 2010s.
The most effective Super Rugby teams to win with a No 10 over 30 years vintage have been those who had already captured a identify in their 20s. Teams who do not have a celeb No 10 in their prime years, do now not win. Teams with antique 10s do no longer win.
As the key sport driver for the Crusaders, Mo’unga’s have an impact on on outcomes outweighs that of his p.C. And the opposite tremendous gamers in his groups. He is the principle man in relation to manufacturing line breaks or making them himself, pulling the strings to create attempts, riding the crew around the park and tactically playing the sector.
He has constantly delivered large performs in those Super Rugby final and lots of more through the play-offs to reach them. As Scott Robertson positioned it after ultimate year’s Super Rugby Pacific win over the Blues, he’s their point protect like Steph Curry.
If the greatest ever Super player is to be measured by silverware, no generational celebrity has gained as many titles as Mo’unga, apart from a few his own teammates of direction.
His debut season in 2016 is the handiest 12 months he has not been topped a champion, with 3 straight Super Rugby titles from 2017-19, Super Rugby Aotearoa titles in 2020 and 2021 before claiming the inaugural Super Rugby Pacific identify in 2022.
Once the opposition went domestic, Mo’unga become the Most Valuable Player of Super Rugby Aotearoa by way of a long way over the 2020 and 2021 seasons, leading in stat classes like strive assists and defenders crushed as an attacking force that could not be treated.
Six titles in seven years is unheard of in Super Rugby regardless of the disruptions and changes to the opposition over the lower back half of Mo’unga’s Super Rugby career.
To say the Crusaders wouldn’t have crowned the South African sides had they been still protected in view that 2020 is presumption based handiest in fantasy.
Mo’unga misplaced just as soon as to a South African team as a Crusader inside the 2016 sector-very last towards the Lions. The Crusaders report towards South African teams become 14 wins, 2 attracts and 1 loss in those 4 seasons.
They buried the general public of those teams by massive rating strains, apart from the three-time finalist Lions, generally drowning the rest with an avalanche of tries.
The 2022 United Rugby Championship-prevailing Stormers would were worth of a assignment but surely no guarantee to beat the Crusaders. Mo’unga’s 1,053 Super Rugby factors falls far quick of Dan Carter’s 1,708, however Mo’unga has only performed seven seasons as compared to Carter’s 13-year stint.
It can’t be denied that he has owned the Hurricanes, the Blues, the Chiefs and the Highlanders over his profession.
When he took over because the Crusaders starting 10, Beauden Barrett’s Hurricanes had been the top group in New Zealand. In 2017 the Crusaders assumed the mantle and never gave it back.
The most effective shame approximately Mo’unga’s glittering Crusaders career is most of it’s been performed in a makeshift stadium on a horse track. Perhaps when he returns to New Zealand the Crusaders will be playing in a suit-for-purpose Stadium.
Whether he returns as a player at 32 year antique after his Japan stint is unknown, it may be at the table if he has wants to resume his international career as an All Black.
If that is the final 12 months of the Mo’unga show in Crusaders colours it’s time to enjoy his greatness as they chase name range seven below Robertson.