5 Aug 2017

Whitelock wants Crusaders to trust and deliver

8:02 pm on 5 August 2017

Adding to the legacy of the great Crusaders teams of the past has not been lost on captain Sam Whitelock ahead of the Super Rugby final tomorrow morning.

Crusaders and All Black lock Sam Whitelock.

Crusaders and All Black lock Sam Whitelock. Photo: Photosport

The Crusaders are the most successful side in Super Rugby, having picked up seven Super Rugby titles.

But the last one came in 2008 and Whitelock said it would mean a lot to lift the trophy.

"There's been a lot of history [with the Crusaders] but for myself I've never been part of a winning side so to go out there and become one of those guys that's won a title would be amazing.

"And there's a number of guys in the side that feel exactly the same."

The All Black has played some big matches in his career and said this was right up there.

"The guys are excited by it and they know it's going to be hard and they're going to have to work really hard and trust their team-mates as well.

"That's the best thing about playing rugby at any level you've got to trust your team-mates and hopefully you can go out there and do it together."

It's unusual for the Crusaders to go into a final as the underdog but with the Lions demolition of the Hurricanes last weekend and around 60,000 home fans roaring them on, it will be a challenge for the visitors.

Whitelock said they were taking it in their stride.

"It's a little bit strange this year but it's something we're aware of and that excites [us] and we're just happy to be here in the final."

The Lions also beat the Crusaders 42-25 at home in the quarter-finals last year.

Whitelock said the Crusaders had grown since then.

"I think last year we were a pretty good side and a couple of little changes have definitely helped.

"With that I think the guys have really got to know each other this year and that's really helped when we've been in tight games to pull ourselves through."

Whitelock said his constant communication with rookie coach Scott Robertson had served them well.

"Our relationship's really grown. Especially earlier on in the season I had never been coached by Razor [Robertson] so just took a little bit to work out how he wanted to be as a coach and how I wanted to lead.

"I think we've been working on that the whole season, and that's something that for myself has been really beneficial. I know what he wants, and he knows what I want."

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