The country of New Zealand consists of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island. The South Island is larger amongst the two islands but is however less populous than the North Island. Though the South Island is referred to as the Mainland, merely a quarter of the total population of New Zealand inhabit this place. South island rose into prominence primarily during the gold rush period when most of the European settlers aimed at this area as the primary region of settlement.
Sports play a very dominant role in the South Islanders life-style. Probably the most popular sports in this area are rugby, cricket and netball. The most popular sport in South Island is Rugby and also this sport is also the national sport. Some of the other sports that enjoy some amount of popularity in this region are Ice Hockey, basketball and football.
The South Island has separate teams that participate in Rugby League and Rugby Union matches. Their team that participates in the Rugby League matches is called the Canterbury Bulls. This team is based out of the largest city in South Island called Christchurch and also have been in the sports news for winning several Bartercard Cups.
There are a number of teams in South Island that take part in the Rugby Union Matches. The Crusaders, the Canterbury Rugby Football Union, Southland Stags, the Highlanders, Tasman Makos, Buller, Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, West Coast Rugby Football Union and North Otago are the popular teams that play rugby union matches.
Amongst each of the teams that play rugby union, it is the Crusaders who love to be by far the most successful. Based out of Christchurch, this team was formerly called the Canterbury Crusaders and participates in the Super 14 championships. This team is also considered to be essentially the most successful teams in the history of Super Rugby. This franchisee also represents the provincial rugby union teams including Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, Buller, West Coast Rugby Football Union and Tasman Makos.
The Crusaders were formed in 1996 in order to represent South Island in the Super 12matches. This team experienced a dismal start and finished in the last spot in its first season. Their upswing began from 1998 from where they continued a winning spree. They have been consistent winners and have won five Super 12 trophies. Because of their fifth win, the Crusaders were also given the Super 12 trophy for keeps.
Following the Super 12 victories, the Crusaders have been playing the Super 14 since its inauguration in 2006. They have already claimed two victories in both the Super 14 seasons taking their number of title wins to seven.
Other than being in the news because of their fantastic winning records, this team from South Island also holds several records. The main of those competition records being the top number of points scored in a game and also the most number of tries in the game. Additionally all time high also comes a record of an all time low competition record in which the Crusaders scored the minimum number of points in the game up against the Otago Highlanders.