Super Rugby 2019: Lions lose Malcolm Marx for Crusaders clash

As if the odds weren't long enough for the Lions in Friday night's Super Rugby final rematch against the Crusaders, star hooker Malcolm Marx has now flown home.

That means the South African side are without their head and assistant coaches and two star Springboks for the game.

Then again, they had a similar problem last week and still beat the Chiefs.

"We had a tough week and we had to fight through that and we grew really close as a team," skipper Warren Whiteley told Newshub

On this tour coach, Swys de Bruin and Springboks winger Courtnall Skosan have flown home for family reasons, while assistant coach Joey Mangalo was convicted of indecent assault in Australia.

Now star hooker Malcolm Marx has now left on Springboks enforced rest, although they're still trying to help the squad from South Africa.

Every day they are giving support and coach Swys is sending info and tactics.

Performance Manager Ivan van Rooyen has stepped in to run the show but says losing de Bruin was difficult.

"We've got a big family ethos back home, so it's literally like losing your dad this week," Van Rooyen said.

In his absence, the Lions have had to pare back their approach.

"We are really trying to keep it simple - stay direct and when the time is right, exploit the spaces," said Whiteley.

That really impressed Crusaders coach Scott Robertson while analysing the Lions win over the Chiefs.

"I thought the Lions were exceptional. They were smart and they played to their strengths," Robertson said.

Whiteley's leadership is also a major factor according to van Rooyen.

"The way the people respect him is quite special," he said.

They'll need all his leadership and that family culture to win against the odds against Super Rugby's best tomorrow.


Join us at 7:30pm Friday for live updates of the Crusaders v Lions Super Rugby clash.