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Lions coach pleads with ref


Lions coach De Bruin pleads with ref for 'fair deal' as Crusaders 'get away with more'

Lions coach Swys de Bruin plans to raise his concerns over the Crusaders’ tactics to match officials ahead of Saturday’s Super Rugby final, asking for a ‘fair deal’ as the Crusaders are good at ‘getting away with stuff’.

Ahead of the game, De Bruin wants to speak to Australian referee Angus Gardner regarding their opponents bending the rules.

“They can’t – because they are champions and people think they are good – get away with certain stuff,” he said.

“And I will make sure we meet with the refs about that.

“Because going through their clips – and you guys know me, I speak from the heart – there is a lot of things they get away with, more than other teams get away with.

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“Like the offside line, like the hit on the left hand-side on the loosehead, stuff like that. So I will have that talk like that to them.

“We need a fair deal, all we ask is a fair deal and I hope we will get it.”

Lions will already be at a disadvantage this weekend, though, as they have to travel to Christchurch for the title showdown. A planned late arrival for the three-time finalists could be disruptive to the preparations.

“We are not looking at that as a team, we are looking at the positives. But it is things that I have to address and make sure,” de Bruin said on supersport.com.

“There is a reason why there are 10 metres at a scrum, I looked at TJ Perenara when he touched that ball they are already five metres away, it can’t be. They have to be 10 until the ball is out. Those are the little things that we will address.”

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The South African team produced a stirring second-half display to see off the Waratahs 44-26 and reach the final for a third successive season.

They will be hoping for a change in fortunes, however, having lost out to the Hurricanes in 2016 before suffering a 25-17 defeat to reigning champions Crusaders last year at home.


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Lions coach De Bruin pleads with ref for 'fair deal' as Crusaders 'get away with more'