Crusaders determined to back up intelligent preparations for Super Rugby final with smart play on the field

The Crusaders are just hours away from kicking off in their Super Rugby final with the Lions in Johannesburg.

And while they've weathered the storms of Christchurch over the past fortnight, they are now preparing in much different conditions at Ellis Park.

It's one of the most daunting venues in world rugby, but the Crusaders' brains trust seemed relaxed enough with the way the team appeared at their final captain's run for the season - even the captain himself, Sam Whitelock, took his boots off and donned a singlet to work on his tan.

"The weather here is always really nice," Whitelock said.

"But in saying that its pretty good at home too, no matter the weather. Its always good to be playing at home but the challenge this week is playing here on the high altitude and nice sunny weather."

While the Canterbury men are enjoying the much drier conditions, they're weary of not getting sucked in to the high-tempo game that the Hurricanes tried to play last week.

"I think you just have to be smart in the way you play and in assessing the game and that's something a number of players have to do," Whitelock said.

The Crusaders have already been smart off the field by arriving in South Africa five days before the final - a stark contrast to last year where they turned up two days before their play-off where they were then-rocked 42-25.

While its their 12th final, the Crusaders' last four finals on the road have all resulted in defeat and no team has crossed the Indian Ocean to win the final.

With both sides sitting at 16-1 for the season and the Lions on the verge of perhaps becoming the first South African team since the Bulls to win a Super Rugby title, history is sure to be made either way.

The Cantabrian side says they won't fall into the Lions' fast-paced trap like the Hurricanes did last week. Source: 1 NEWS

'The guys are excited' – Sam Whitelock says Crusaders ready for Super Rugby title tilt

Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock has made it clear that his side are ready to take on the Lions in the Super Rugby final in Johannesburg tonight.

Speaking after his side's captain's run training session, Whitelock told media about what the chance to help the Crusaders to their first title since 2008 means.

"I've never been a part of a winning side, so to go out there and become one of those guys who's won the title would be amazing, and there's a number of guys in the side who feel exactly the same," Whitelock said.

"I've been lucky enough to play on this ground, I just really enjoy that occasion."

"The guys are excited by it, they know that it's going to be hard."

The Crusaders' skipper is amping to lead his side in tonight’s final against the Lions. Source: 1 NEWS



Watch: Crusaders go through Super Rugby final paces at captains run

The Cantabrians will face the Lions for the Super Rugby trophy tonight. Source: 1 NEWS