Super Rugby Final: Hurricanes vs Lions
The Lions will play in their first ever Super Rugby final since the competition became known as the Super 12 back in 1996. Their opponents are the Hurricanes, twice losing finalists, as recent as last season. They will want to push that out of their minds on Saturday, but a near capacity crowd in a stadium that has been difficult for South African sides will give them the mental edge in the final.
Both sides are near identical to the lineups that were used in the previous two playoff matches, with Lions captain Warren Whitely returning to lead the team from the back of the scrum, while Dane Coles is marked as doubtful for the second consecutive week, after picking up an injury during the quarterfinals which saw him miss the semi last week. Julian Savea will again play off the bench, and will be hoping to make a positive impact at some stage.
A controversial Super Rugby season then comes to an end on Saturday, with two very deserving sides with a shot at eternal glory. While the Lions surprised many with their balanced attacking approach, the calm and composed style exhibited by the Hurricanes have seen them become a sure bet to win the final. Brad Barret has in recent weeks raced ahead of his rivals for the coveted All Black no. 10 jersey, and is likely to be the difference on the day.
Prediction: Hurricanes by 8
Ed: We’re divided on the result. While we’re aware that the Lions were thrashed in the home leg by the Hurricanes we’re still hoping for a win for the travelers in Wellington on Saturday. Kick off our time is 9.30 am and will be live on Supersport 1. (I have the Lions by 5)
Sportsbet Odds: Hurricanes 0.4 / Lions 2.2