16th October 12:00 PM
Mercilessly finishing games is what sets Crusaders apart from the Lions
By Semi Turaga
Saturday 04/08/2018
Crusaders star George Bridge will be a key player against the Lions in tonight's final

An ability to close games in merciless fashion is what sets the Crusaders apart from the Lions heading into the Super Rugby final.

There will be countless factors stacked against the South African visitors in tonight’s decider in Christchurch but the most compelling is the Crusaders’ late‑finishing power.

It’s a weapon that looks potent enough to hand them a ninth title.

Through a combination of fitness and bench strike, the Crusaders have out‑scored opponents by 26 tries to five in the final quarter of matches across the season.

The nearest any team comes to that in any quarter is the 24 to 12 achieved by the Lions themselves, in the second quarter of games.

This game will mark the first time in Super Rugby history that consecutive finals have been contested by the same teams, with the Crusaders pulling off a 25‑17 win over the Lions in the 2017 edition.

The Lions undoubtedly have the best driving maul in the competition and a scrum probably only bettered by the Crusaders, so it should be a titanic battle up front.

The Lions will meet the Crusaders in the Super Rugby final at 7.35pm today.

[Source: AAP]

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