'I don't think it's the right time': Why Robertson didn't dance after fourth straight title

Super Rugby - Aotearoa
by Christy Doran

Winning titles and break-dancing has become synonymous over the years for Scott Robertson, but Sunday's Super Rugby Aotearoa clenching win over the Highlanders was different for the highly sought after New Zealand coach. 

As tradition would have it, Robertson would have had his chargers form a circle around him as the 45-year-old struts his stuff.

He's done it the past three years having led his old side to a three-peat of Super Rugby titles. Even before taking charge of the Crusaders, he did it with Canterbury in the Mitre 10 Cup.

But not this time.

After overseeing his side's come-from-behind 32-22 win over the Highlanders at home, which sealed the Super Rugby Aotearoa title with one-round to go, Robertson declined to pull out his break-dancing moves, instead telling the crowd he'd put it out on another occasion.

"Everyone's calling for me to dance, but I don't think it's the right time," former All Blacks back-rower Robertson said.

"It doesn't feel quite right. Just with what happened to ((tight-head prop) Oli (Jager) and the circumstances. There will be another time for that.

"It's a celebration with curfews tonight. There will be curfews. That's why we're keeping it a little bit low key. Just think it's appropriate with tonight, we'll find another time to dance."

There were fears for the well-being of the 25-year-old who was stretchered off in the second half after copping a head knock from Highlanders centre Sio Tomkinson after 64 minutes.

Tomkinson was yellow carded for a no-arms off-the-ball body check on Jager, which concussed the tight-head prop. Jager gave the thumbs up as he was taken from the field, but his departure left some concern over the Crusaders.

Nonetheless, it was a typical resilient display which revealed the Crusaders' character as they came from 22-13 down to score three unanswered tries to down the Highlanders at home.

All Blacks playmaker Richie Mo'unga was at the heart of the Crusaders' win, but he was helped by his reserves, particularly Luke Romano, who proved to be the difference in the final quarter of the match.

"It was a true final," said Robertson, who was edged out by Foster for the All Blacks coaching job to replace Sir Steve Hansen.

"It had everything in it. We were on the ropes for a lot of the game and we found a way to take a couple of moments, key guys stood up. Our hearts are with Oli Jager though, he had a big knock before so you're dealing with elation and you're just making sure he's OK (too). It was a true final - it had everything."

 

Robertson said that the spirit and skill that the Highlanders played with showcased the strength of the makeshift nation-wide competition.

"We knew it was going to be a final. That performance from the Highlanders did justice to our competition," Robertson said.

"So if we had of come out and rolled them, it would have been like 'ohh' but it just shows how much they care, how much we care, all the supporters and New Zealand rugby cares and how tough it is."

The victory meant that the Crusaders will head to Auckland to play the second-placed Blues next Sunday with an unassailable lead at the top of the standings.