Cape Town - Lions skipper Warren Whiteley has expressed his disappointment at losing a third consecutive Super Rugby final, once again at the hands of the Crusaders, this time in Christchurch, on Saturday.
The Crusaders stormed to a ninth Super Rugby victory, dispatching a brave, but ultimately out-thought and out-witted Lions side, winning 37-18.
For the Lions it was a repeat result of their 2016 loss to the Hurricanes in Wellington and the Crusaders last year in Johannesburg.
Speaking post-match, Whiteley said: "Obviously I'm gutted, a bit emotional to be honest.
"We gave it everything out there and credit must go to the Crusaders they were unbelievable.
"Everything we threw at them they stopped. We tried everything, threw the kitchen sink at them and they deserved this win."
15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Braydon EnnorLions
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrink, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Substitutes: 16 Corne Fourie, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 23 Howard Mnisi