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Read in doubt for Crusaders against Lions

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Sportal.co.nz     03 Apr 2014     Getty Images

Read took a blow to the head in last weekend's loss to the Hurricanes and was still showing one or two signs that would be assessed by team doctor Deb Robinson before the team was announced.

Assistant coach Aaron Mauger said, "There is no need to risk him. A person's health is more important than anything we do as a team."

Meanwhile an error rate averaging 21 a game is on the Crusaders hit list as the prepare to play the Lions.

Mauger said that figure was twice as many as should be happening and had been addressed in preparing for the first game of the South African leg of their season.

Mauger said one-on-one defensive lapses when players on the outside had left their position to move infield had created opportunities that the Hurricanes had taken quickly in last week's loss at AMI Stadium.

By eliminating the mistakes the Crusaders would be able to build pressure instead of easing it.

"We don't need to get too panicky," he said.

"We did a lot of good things, especially with the ball in hand which was good to see."

Mauger said during the season the side had been a little guilty of trying to play in their own half and had some poor decisions which had proved costly.

They would be expecting a tough physical challenge from the Lions and were well aware of the danger of the goal-kicking boot of first five-eighths Marnitz Boshoff who was kicking at 95 percent at goal.

"Our kicking strategy will be really important and we will have to be kicking to the right areas," he said.

Lock Dominic Bird said eliminating the defensive problems had been a focus for the side and it was about people taking ownership.

The Crusaders would also be looking to pressure the Lions lineout because, as with all South African sides, the lineout was an area of strength for them.

"We will be looking to steal as much pill as possible from them," he said.

It would be difficult because they were so accurate with their throwing.

But the tactical requirement of not giving away too many penalties would also be on the minds of the players and the Crusaders would have to be aware of their tactical game.

"Like all South African sides they will be very physical, they will have double runners in the backline and will be very efficient in the lineout.

"But we'll have a couple of different tactics and will be giving it a good crack," he said.