The Cru­saders’ great Pal­adins

In a team built on a cul­ture of unity, Vata Ngobeni takes a look at the New Zealand side’s most dan­ger­ous assets

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

SURELY, fac­ing the Cru­saders in a fi­nal must be the most daunt­ing sight in Su­per Rugby.

As beat­able as they are, they come to to face the Lions at El­lis Park on Satur­day with a pedi­gree for win­ning cham­pi­onships. And they do so with all the mem­bers of their match day team.

It is dif­fi­cult to sin­gle out in­di­vid­u­als in a team that works for each other and re­lies heav­ily on the team suc­cess for the in­di­vid­u­als to thrive.

How­ever, there are those men who are the glue to the Cru­saders with what they bring on the field and also off it as well. There can be no avoid­ing the im­por­tance of lead­er­ship and ex­pe­ri­ence in the suc­cess of the Cru­saders in years gone by and this year where they have only lost one game.

So, it is par­tic­u­larly to the lead­er­ship that the Cru­saders will look and try to up­set the Lions in or­der to win a record eighth Su­per Rugby ti­tle.

Vi­tal to the Cru­saders’ suc­cess, will be cap­tain Sam White­lock, veteran No 8 and All Blacks cap­tain Kieran Read, while the cun­ning and ex­cit­ing play of Is­rael Dagg will be cru­cial in get­ting the vis­i­tor’s over the line.

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