Lions v Hurricanes
Sunday 1:00am at Emirates Park
Just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any better than Semi Final 1, the Rugby gods serve up this absolute doozy of a clash. The Rugby feast well and truly continues on Saturday, it’s the grand final rematch we’ve all been waiting for, the Defending Premiers vs the Minor Premiers, the Lions at home to the Hurricanes and the Wolf couldn’t be more excited.
Lions coach Johan Ackermann has named an unchanged line up to the team that snuck home against the Sharks last weekend.
The Hurricanes have made two massive changes to their side in a bid to upset the hosts. It’s a first start this season for Hurricanes skipper Dane Coles, who will also play his 100th Super Rugby game. The big call from the Hurricanes management was the return of Vince Aso to outside centre, which has forced Jordie Barrett back to fullback, Nehe Milner Skudder to the wing and believe it or not “the bus” Julian Savea is dropped from the starting XV.
Last time they met
The 2016 Super Rugby Final 7/8/2016 – Hurricanes 20 – 3 Lions
Stat that matters
Both the Hurricanes and the Lions average more points per game than any other side in the competition, so expect points aplenty. For the record the Hurricanes (39) narrowly edge out the Lions (38) for average points per game.
Key Match up
Elton Jantjies vs Beauden Barrett – To win the big games you need your big players to step up, and they don’t come much bigger than the two form flyhalfs of the competition. Both players have all the skills and enjoy receiving the ball flat and taking the line on, which could prove key to unlocking the attacking weapons out wide.
The Lions were sluggish last week against the Sharks and didn’t grab the lead until the 78th minute through a mammoth Ruan Combrinck penalty goal. They will need to be more clinical this weekend if they want to advance to their second straight Super Rugby final. The Hurricanes started slowly against the Brumbies, but a huge second half performance saw them run out comfortable winners.
How it’s shaping
With dry conditions predicted in Jo’burg the scene is set for these two attacking sides to show what they have got. This is one that could genuinely go either way, but the wolf is predicting the Hurricanes to prove their class and get home in a nailbiter.
Hurricanes by 4…
Best bet: Hurricanes -2 ($1.90)
Value bet: Lions score first & lose ($3.60)
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