Sports

Crusaders wary of Lions mauling, says Todd

Crusaders wary of Lions mauling, says Todd

Speaking ahead of Saturday night's Super Rugby final in Christchurch, Mallett offered advice to the Lions for the decider in which they face the Crusaders as massive underdogs.

It's the first time the Crusaders have finished the regular season on top of the standings in a decade; 2008 was also the last time the Crusaders hosted a final, beating the Waratahs 20-12 in Christchurch.

The Lions are hoping to make it third time lucky after losing the 2016 Super Rugby final away to the Wellington Hurricanes and failing again in a home decider against the Crusaders a year ago.

It took little time for him to build a deep bond with an All Blacks-laden squad which had suffered a few knocks to its confidence in the last couple of years under Blackadder. Of course the Crusaders are the favourites. they don't have too many weak spots.

With the Waratahs soundly beaten by the Lions 46-22 in their semi-final in Johannesburg on Saturday, captain Bernard Foley weighed up the two matches and found it hard to pick a victor in the final. "Elton is a true professional, there's a reason he's played more than 100 Super Rugby matches", De Bruin said. "The offsides lines apply for both sides and because they are champions and people think they are good, [they] get away with certain stuff".

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"If you look at their opposition next weekend, you have got Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, the flanks, Sam Whitelock and Scott Barrett, all of them All Blacks".

Pranks, singing contests and a more welcoming reception to the families of the players around the club have also marked Robertson's time in charge.

"It is a passive defensive system that means you don't get line breaks but you don't put the opposition ball carrier under pressure".

"The Lions are a quality side; they deserved to win tonight (against us)". That is what is going to make it hard, other than the travel.


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