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A keen-eyed Crusaders fan at Eden Park noticed the flag-bearers on display before the match were standing out of order.
The flags should have spelled out "BLUES" but actually read "BEULS".
Crusaders supporter John Beechey caught the flag mix up on video and posted it to Facebook with a comment: "You had one job."
The miscommunication proved to be a fitting start to the night for the Blues whose lineout imploded as they lost possession 10 times on their own throw.
The Crusaders took the Super Rugby Pacific title with a 21-7 victory.