Martin Devlin: Why the Crusaders will win this year's Super Rugby title


Robertson and Ryan joined The Country's regular footy correspondent Joe Wheeler for a chat with Jamie Mackay about the Super Rugby final between the Crusaders and the Lions this weekend.

While the Lions have taken a "less is more" approach this week, the Crusaders have devoted plenty of time to working on how to quell their opponents' pack, particularly when they get their rolling maul moving with Malcolm Marx holding the ball. These are two exciting teams in the final, sides that love scoring tries, so we're all looking forward to the match.

Like so many of his teammates Jantjies has experienced two final losses - in 2016 and a year ago - and while he said those defeats would potentially help the side ahead of the Crusaders match on Saturday, the team preferred to not dwell on the past. They are unbeaten in 20 playoffs matches.

Boyd's comments, made after the Crusaders' emphatic 30-12 semifinal win last week, were put to de Bruin at the press conference.

De Bruin confirmed the Lions were trying to combat jet lag by staying up late and sleeping in each day. With the systems he came up with for that specific game‚ he knew how to beat them and he paid particular attention to detail.

Cyle Brink returns at openside flanker, replacing Lourens Erasmus, and Courtnall Skosan will start on the left wing ahead of Aphiwe Dyantyi.

"If the officials stay in the moment we'll have a good game‚" said De Bruin.

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"I want the players around me to enjoy themselves and hopefully I can help inspire them to do just that, to express themselves".

Interestingly‚ when the Crusaders met the Sharks in this year's quarter-final‚ they had eight survivors from that semi-final while the Sharks only had two in Lwazi Mvovo and Thomas du Toit.

Lions coach Swys de Bruin has urged Australian referee Angus Gardner and his assistants to give his team a "fair deal" in Saturday's Super Rugby final against the Crusaders in Christchurch. "Our forwards have been producing quality performances", he said.

"We'll have to bring our A-game and more".

"They mustn't deviate from the formula that got them into the final".

"We've already gone through a lot of stuff (on Monday). Beating the Hurricanes by 20-odd points, yeah, this is why you play the game, for opportunities like this".