All Black lock Brad Thorn was not able to end his Super Rugby career on a winning note, but the former Queenslander was still happy to witness the revival of Rugby Union in Brisbane.
Thorn moved to Brisbane when he was nine years old and went on to play 200 games in the National Rugby League (NRL) for the Brisbane Broncos, so although he was obviously disappointed that the Crusaders lost out in the Super Rugby Final he was still encouraged to see Queensland rugby back on top after some lean years.
He told allblacks.com: "I've grown up here so I know there's been some hard years. My brother played for the GPS club in 1996, that's when rugby was really strong here.
"Queensland was a proud union, one of the strongest in world rugby. It's been a tough sort of decade ... the crowds were so low and teams around Australia came along and took the (player) depth away. To see Queensland rugby so strong, there's a big part of me that appreciates that. I think it's a good thing," he added.
The 36-year-old All Black enforcer has been a vital member of the gallant Crusaders side that came within five points of securing their eighth Super Rugby title after playing every game away from home this season, but the fairytale ending was not to be and the Japan-bound Thorn's last game for the Canterbury side ended in disappointment.
Thorn explained: "We played our hearts out but we made too many mistakes and we paid the price. We strive for excellence at the Crusaders, we got close but not quite there."
Thorn himself was one of the culprits when he wasted a four-man overlap by putting his head down and going for the tryline. The TMO decided that he had been held up without grounding the ball and the Crusaders had to be content with a penalty after the resultant scrum.
The big tight forward admits that he is unsure whether or not he got the ball down.
"I felt like I got close. Did I skim the grass? I don't know. It didn't get awarded, so next job," he said.
His next job will be with the All Blacks in the Tri-Nations and fans of the New Zealand national team will be looking forward to him bringing his characteristic physicality to the Test match arena.
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