Whitelock: History counts for nothing

Fri, 22 Jul 2016 16:19

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Crusaders lock Sam Whitelock believes that his team cannot rely on past results to see them through their Super Rugby quarterfinal with the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Speaking to media at the team's Gauteng base, Whitelock said that his side will take confidence from their 43-37 victory over the Lions at Ellis Park in April.

However, he also explained that the play-offs are a completely different scenario and the Crusaders will be required to make a strong start if they are to emerge with the victory.

"It's finals footy now, it doesn't matter what's happened in the past," the All Black lock said.

"Making sure that we prepare to the best of our ability this week is important, but there are certain things we can take confidence out of.

"That last game was a very high scoring game, so making sure that we attack just the way we like to will be one of the most critical things," said Whitelock.

The Crusaders only arrived in South Africa on Tuesday and Whitelock said that the team is well prepared for Saturday's encounter after adjusting their training schedule in order to be physically prepared for a big battle Saturday.

"We are feeling pretty good. We got here a couple of days ago so we've been smart with what we've been doing this week," explained Whitelock.

"We've just changed our training to suit us, to allow us to really put our best foot forward on Saturday."

Looking at what the Lions will bring to the game, Whitelock added that they are a well-balanced side who will look to attack the line and give the ball plenty of air - but at the same time they will also make the tackles and commit on defence.

"I think the one thing that has suited them all year is really playing and having a go, so I think they will bring that as well.

"However, they will be strong and physical, so, yeah they are a great side and we've just got to be ready for whatever they throw at us."

Whitelock further added that the contest at the breakdown might very well decide which team comes out on top at the end of the 80 minutes on Saturday.

"Both teams like attacking off fast ball so the breakdown is going to be critical there. Putting pressure on opposition and also sorting it out," said Whitelock.

Josh Isaacson
@isaacson_j
@rugby365com

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