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Todd ready for busy time in the loose

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    05 Aug 2017     Getty Images

Todd told South African media ahead of the game that slowing ball for the Lions would be crucial in preventing the home side getting on a roll in front of a record crowd for a Super Rugby final.

Lions Kwagga Smith and Jaco Kriel have been key performers in the loose and were to the fore in the side's semifinal comeback against the Hurricanes.

"We know how good they are on the ball, so we obviously have to make sure the ball carrier does his job and doesn't expose the ball to the opposition players," Todd said.

"It is huge, we have to get there quickly because they are very dangerous, they are very quick on the ball and that is a big part of their game, they win those turnovers, or win those penalties, so we certainly have talked about that and know the challenge they possess."

It was all about being smart in decision-making.

"We have to be smart, when it's on, we have to attack the breakdown and when it's not, we have to make sure we have bodies on our feet.

"You've got to play what you see, play the pictures that you see. We can't allow them to get a roll on and get quick ball every ruck or else we will be chasing our tails all game," he said.

Todd acknowledged the impact Smith has had on the Lions' ability to compete in the loose and said his presence made it tougher to counter them.

"He's been outstanding, obviously very quick and fast, and obviously with that Sevens engine that gets you around the field a lot, and he is involved a lot at the breakdown and in support play.

"That makes him a very dangerous player and we have to keep an eye on him this weekend," he said.

Much emphasis has been placed on the Crusaders' defensive play but there was still confidence in their attacking ability.

"We have a great belief in our attack. I guess the way the game has gone, with the [wet] conditions in the past few weeks, our defence has gone well.

"Throughout the year we have had a great attack and have scored a lot of points as well and we have great faith in our attack. We will certainly be ready to take our chances," he said.