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Taylor keen to celebrate with Super Rugby title

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Thursday, August 3, 2017    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Taylor, who advanced his cause when filling the hooking berth for the All Blacks against the British & Irish Lions in incumbent Dane Coles' absence, is in Johannesburg with the Crusaders for the final against the Lions.

He said he had two reasons for signing through until 2021 – one was unfinished business in New Zealand with a lot of things he wants to achieve while another was his young family, having become a father in January.



He also wanted to be part of the Rugby World Cup squad in 2019 and said he wouldn't be too old when the following World Cup was played.

Taylor said by getting to South Africa on Sunday local time, they would have a normal week of preparation even if Monday and Tuesday were eased off from the usual days due to the travel and recovery.

"They're a good team and they went to their strengths in that second half and kept the Hurricanes guessing and it paid off for them so for us it is about playing the game we've been playing all year.

"We like to apply pressure in different areas and hopefully we can exploit a few of theirs. It's going to be an 82-minute game, it's not going to go 80, it's probably going to go longer than that.

"We've just got to be prepared for anything and work really hard to get the job done," he said.

The Lions had scored the most tries off mauls in the competition and had used it to effect to gain momentum over the Hurricanes in their semifinal while not letting any tries from that area in.

"It's going to be an awesome challenge for us to step up with them being at home and to take it to them," he said.

"We take pride in our defence and see it as a great weapon for us," he said.

They would be looking for more than the 33 percent of possession they had against the Chiefs in last weekend's semifinal and they would need to play smarter.

The prospect of a dry track and a dry ball, after the heavy going of the last two games in sodden conditions in Christchurch was appealing.

Taylor said concern with the altitude were allayed by their team doctor who told the players the high altitude didn't affect bodies physiologically and it was more of a mindset.

"So that's the way we're looking at it this week, we've just got to push through it and get the head space right," he said.

He expected the heat might be more of a concern.



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