Lions want to 'get in the face' of Crusaders

Super Rugby
AAP
by AAP

The Lions plan to "get in the face" of the Crusaders in the Super Rugby final, hoping to mirror their successful methods adopted against the Hurricanes.

Buoyed by news they will play in front of a sellout crowd of 62,000 at Ellis Park, the Lions have their sights set on becoming the competition's second South African champions when they host the decider on Sunday morning (AEST).

Standing in the way of the overall top qualifiers are the New Zealand conference-winning Crusaders, who share the same 16 win-one loss record this season.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann is adamant his team mustn't depart from the expansive methods that have taken them to successive finals.


Now it comes down to attitude if they are to overcome the seven-time champions, who have used clinical defence and forward power to see off the Highlanders and Chiefs in knockout matches.

Ackermann believes it was a relentless adherence to their game plan which ultimately led to last week's 44-29 victory over the Hurricanes in Johannesburg.

They trailed 22-3 nearing half-time but even at that point, they could sense the effects of altitude were starting to tell on the travel-weary Kiwi visitors.

"We felt towards the end of the first half they were more tired than us," he told reporters.

"The reality is that they had the linespeed, but our players were so direct that at some stage they couldn't keep up, they couldn't get off the line because we were in their faces.

"We can analyse the Crusaders as much as we want to, we know they are going to be physical. It is for us to be in their faces and to adapt if your plan doesn't work."

The Lions take on the Crusaders on Sunday morning, kicking off at midnight, LIVE on FOX SPORTS. 

Join the discussion

Advertisement