11 Aug 2020

Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy scuffed up in celebrations

7:29 pm on 11 August 2020

The Crusaders have confirmed the Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy has been damaged after the team secured the competition title at the weekend.

Crusaders celebrate. Crusaders vs. Highlanders. Super Rugby Aotearoa. Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday 9 August 2020. © Copyright image by Martin Hunter / www.photosport.nzn

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

The nine-time champions continued their reign of success by beating the Highlanders in Christchurch on Sunday to win the domestic competition with a match to spare.

But, on Tuesday, Crusaders boss Colin Mansbridge confirmed the specially designed trophy didn't make it through the post-match celebrations entirely unscathed.

Mansbridge said he didn't have specific details about the circumstances in which the damage occured.

"I just know it's been accidentally dropped and incurred the minor damage.

"We've spoken to New Zealand Rugby, we've also sought some cultural advice and accordingly we're going to be attending to those minor repairs as soon as possible."

The Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy after it suffered minor damage after it was secured by the Crusaders.

The Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy after it suffered minor damage after it was secured by the Crusaders. Photo: Supplied

The trophy is named Tū Kōtahi Aotearoa, or Stand As One New Zealand, and was created by Ōtaki carver Bill Doyle.

It featured a pounamu mere atop an upturned waka carved out of totara wood, signifying the strength and unity rugby has shown to create Super Rugby Aotearoa and bring the rugby community back together.

Mansbridge described the damage as "a couple of scuff marks on the base of the trophy" and was confident there was nothing untoward which led to it.

He said they would be getting trophy repaired as soon as they could.

"I've spoken to our adviser. They were surprised about how minor the damage was that I was ringing them about.

"They said it will be easily repaired and we'll be attending to that straight away."