Lions coach Swys de Bruin has called the Crusaders the best team in the world ahead of the Super Rugby final in Christchurch.
The Lions secured their third consecutive appearance in the decider with a come-from-behind 44-26 victory over the Waratahs in Johannesburg.
De Bruin praised his team for the attacking intent they showed throughout the match.
‘I challenged the guys on effort and I saw it today. I said I don’t care if you make mistakes, but I wanted effort. Especially at a stage when they [the Waratahs] were going down on their knees. We made a call and the players upped the tempo.
‘Congratulations to the decision-makers to play fast and quick and stick to the plan. When we were tapping and playing we could play Lions rugby.
‘We are very blessed. I saw a few miracles happen today. The bounce of the ball went our way and I am very thankful that we are able to go to the best team in the world.’
De Bruin emphasised that the Crusaders will be favourites to win the final, but added that he has a strong belief in his team.
‘I watched them this morning [against the Hurricanes]. They are unreal. We will have to try and find a crack in that armour.
‘I believe in miracles and this team has proven it. So anything can happen. The Crusaders are the favourites – they are a very good team – but it is still 80 minutes between four white lines so it will be interesting.’
De Bruin confirmed that the Lions intend to train in Johannesburg and depart for Christchurch on Tuesday evening.