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Crusaders 'most organised, most clinical' - Lions

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017    Getty Images

Lions assistant coach, Swys de Bruin, who will take over as head coach after Johan Ackermann's departure for England where he will coach Gloucester, had the job of assessing why the Crusaders were the most dominant side in Super Rugby history.

They have won the competition seven times and have been runners up four times in the 21-year-old event.



The Crusaders were in a different class to the other New Zealand franchises, he said.

"When you do the analysis on the Crusaders you realise why they have been such a strong team over the years. They're just so much more clinical than the other teams. They hang on to the ball for long periods, they prize that possession, and they really work hard for each other," de Bruin said.

"They're an effort team with an excellent defensive system, run by their head coach (Scott Robertson), so in a way they are the most conservative of the New Zealand sides.

"The other teams will give you a few opportunities, like the Hurricanes did last weekend, because of they way they play, but not the Crusaders…you've got to work for your chances," he said.

De Bruin said a home final feels almost unbelievable and the side was excited by it.

"Crucially though they've been in this position a few times now and they know what to expect.

"They've really matured as a group over the last five years, so the good thing is everything we do this week is like any other week. The only difference is we don't have to travel…and a big home crowd awaits us."


He said the team had taken a 'less is more' approach this week because there was not a lot more that could be done at this time of the year.

"The key is to focus on what needs to be done over 80 minutes, that's all that matters. And we've told the players to enjoy every moment this week.

"For game day, the message will be simple…never stop playing. We saw last weekend how crucial every minute is. A lot can happen in 10 minutes," he said.