Auckland rugby coach Wayne Pivac promises his young side won't be shackled by the occasion of Saturday night's semifinal in Wellington and believes the Lions will be equally attack-orientated.
"Going back over the years there have been a lot of high-scoring matches between Wellington and Auckland and I don't see this one being too different, " Pivac said.
"Wellington are obviously a side who are chucking it around and playing some pretty good footy. They have certainly been very consistent and flashy. I expect it will be a good match."
Auckland beat Wellington 43-30 in their round-robin fixture at Eden Park a month ago.
But Wellington edged Auckland on the points table to snare home rights for this playoff.
They also pipped them in the scoring department, notching 323 points to Auckland's 322.
Pivac believed the compact structure of the competition had contributed to the high numbers posted in games.
"With the season the way it has been you don't have time to work on everything you'd like to and by the looks of the competition most teams have been working on their attack."
Auckland have taken a clever approach in their rebuilding year, mixing the devastating running skills of their outside backs with a territory game when possible
Pivac said there was no point in changing his side's tactics now for a knockout situation.
"Certainly this team's goal at the beginning of the year was to get back into playoffs rugby where we haven't been for a wee while. We've ticked that box, so we're probably in bonus territory to a degree now. We're where we think we should be and now it's a matter of how good we can be on the day?
"We expect a lift in our performance as Wellington will too."
Auckland will name their side tomorrow with no fresh injury concerns. Pivac will look for big contributions by his senior players Daniel Braid and Ali Williams.
- © Fairfax NZ News