The New Zealand media lauded the Crusaders on Monday for reaching the Super Rugby Final even though the Christchurch earthquake left them homeless, predicting another title for the sport's greatest nomads.
"The greatest Crusade rumbles on," said the New Zealand Herald after the Crusaders set up a decider with the Reds next Saturday by crushing the Stormers 29-10 in Cape Town.
The Crusaders have played their entire season on the road after the February quake which killed 181 people wrecked their home ground, forcing them to host games in venues ranging from London's Twickenham to the South Island's Timaru.
The New Zealand Herald said the team's appearance in the Final was not only a remarkable sporting feat, but was also an important morale booster for the shattered Canterbury region.
"[This] professional side will win the Super 15 and bolster a quake-ravaged city," sports columnist Chris Rattue wrote.
Fairfax Media's Marc Hinton suggested that a Crusaders title would be a more significant achievement than an All Blacks triumph at the World Cup, which New Zealand host later this year.
"It's difficult to see how the All Blacks winning a World Cup by never leaving home soil could be comparable to what the Crusaders would achieve if they can just summon one more big effort against the Reds in Saturday's Super Rugby Final in Brisbane," he wrote.
"It would be that special. That significant."
There was agreement that the two best teams in the competition had made the final, but also widespread confidence among New Zealand media that the Crusaders would overcome the Reds to claim an unprecedented eighth Super title.
"The precocious, speedy but underpowered Reds have little chance, despite home advantage," was Rattue's prediction in the Herald.
In the Dominion Post, former All Black Justin Marshall said the visitors' scrum, set-pieces and accuracy at the restart gave them the edge, adding "it's clear adversity has been a galvanising force among this united squad".
"These are the traits I believe they will again display at Suncorp Stadium this Saturday, which will culminate in them beating the Reds in the final and achieving what no other Super Rugby team has done before; win all of their games on the road.
"Use the superlative of your choice."
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.