The Lions will throw caution to the wind in an effort to beat the Crusaders in the Super Rugby final on Saturday night.

The Lions have a powerful pack led by monster hooker Malcolm Marx but captain Warren Whiteley — who missed the 2016 and 2017 finals because of injury — said they could not attempt to maul their way to victory.

"We always take risks - you have to be willing to tap and go, take a quick lineout, try something new, be innovative. That's what we are about," said Whiteley, after the Lions landed in Christchurch last night.

"Similarly the Crusaders look for opportunities all over the place, you can't change the way you play just because it is a final.


"We'll stick to what we know although we have to be more clinical than in the last two weeks. The Crusaders are extremely clinical — they punish you, on any opportunity they get.

"The Crusaders have been phenomenal in the last couple of weeks, stepped it up in all areas. They are really confrontational in everything they do, very accurate, and their discipline (against the Hurricanes) was very good. They are just a great side."

Whiteley — who captained the Springboks in an injury curtailed 2017 season — played down the travel factor after a flight of about 16 hours following the semifinal win over the Waratahs.

"We got some good rest — on the plane you go through some individual analysis and try to use the time wisely," said Whiteley, whose team are massive underdogs.

"It's all good, you make the best of whatever the flight arrangements are. We might have wanted to fly a bit later, but you take it as it comes if the flights are full.

"The final is a fantastic opportunity, and Christchurch is one of the greatest places to play rugby. We are really, really looking forward to this weekend."

He pinpointed the periods at the beginning and end of each half as crucial.

Marx endorsed the innovative Lions game plan saying: "Super Rugby is expansive rugby. The first 20 minutes will be interesting, the guys are excited...we had a great trip over here."


Marx said many great players had never won a Super Rugby title and the Lions were "humbled" at getting another chance in the final.