SuperRugby finals time!WRITTEN BY THE EDITOR ON AUGUST 02, 2017. POSTED IN SPORTS
We are down to the finals. The Lions versus the Crusaders.
Before we get to that, let's have a look at the prizes that those at the top of TheBouncePool are playing for on SuperBru.
As promised at the start of the season, I have some great prizes lined up provided by Puma South Africa.
Signed Puma Evo Speed boots as worn by Jesse Kriel
Signed Puma Evo Power boots as worn by Ruan Combrink
Signed 2017 Bulls SuperRugby team home jersey
Signed 2017 Bulls SuperRugby team away jersey
With just one match to play with, these players are primely placed.
Onto the match now, and what a match it is going to be!
SATURDAY: LIONS VS CRUSADERS - 16:00
The Crusaders were the unbeaten team right up until the end of conference play, against all the best teams. The Lions got to waltz through this phase without meeting a New Zealand team at all.
Two very different paths to the final, but still two deserving teams for the big game. Let's see how they got on in their respective semis.
For the Crusaders
No team has controlled their play like the Crusaders. They play with such cohesion, have an incredible forward pack, kick smart, and make the most of their opportunities on attack.
They also have the leadership of Kieran Read, a man that has been there and quite literally done it all. Not too many weaknesses here, and they had a fun two weeks on tour in SA already this year where they racked up 110 points in two matches.
For the Lions
They are rather impressive at home. It is a real fortress, and it will be packed with 60 000 screaming Lions fans on Saturday. They have a team at the top of their life cycle, a team that plays for each other, and a team that is playing for a coach who is departing after this match.
They are a team that can really turn it on, from beating the Sunwolves 94-7, to coming back from 3-22 down against the Hurricanes to winning 44-29 to get to the final. Defensively solid, and after last year, you just feel they know what goes into winning this thing.
Deciding take away
For me the Lions have to win this. The Crusaders have had such a long and tough season. Though they have played as many games as the Lions in this tournament, they are also a team that played a full strength British and Irish Lions team in the international break. They also had to play 10 games against New Zealand opposition, and their last two games have been in tough conditions.
You add all of that to travel and altitude, and it will take its toll. This is a great team, but what I have just mentioned cannot be dismissed as insignificant.
The Lions won't get a better chance to win this tournament. It is sad that Warren Whiteley will be on the sidelines, but that really is the only setback for them.
What the betting sites are saying?
According to World Sport Betting, they have the Crusaders by 1.
I'm going with Lions by 6.
15: Andries Coetzee 14: Ruan Combrink 13: Lionel Mapoe 12: Harold Vorster 11: Courtnall Skosan 10: Elton Jantjies 9: Ross Cronje 8: Ruan Ackermann 7: Kwagga Smith 6: Jaco Kriel 5: Franco Mostert 4: Andries Ferreira 3: Ruan Dreyer 2: Malcolm Marx 1: Jacques van Rooyen
16: Akker van der Merwe 17: Corne Fourie 18: Johannes Jonker 19: Lourens Erasmus 20: Cyle Brink 21: Faf de Klerk 22: Rohan Janse van Rensburg 23: Sylvian Mahuza
15: David Hanili 14: Israel Dagg 13: Jack Goodhue 12: Ryan Crotty 11: Seta Tamanivalu 10: Richie Mo'unga 9: Bryn Hall 8: Kieran Read 7: Matt Todd 6: Jordan Taufua 5: Sam Whitelock 4: Scott Barrett 3: Owen Franks 2: Codie Taylor 1: Joe Moody
16: Ben Funnell 17: Wyatt Crockett 18: Mike Alaalatoa 19: Luke Romano 20: Pete Samu 21: Mitchell Drummond 22: Mitchell Hunt 23: George Bridge
Tags: super rugby predictions, super rugby fixtures, super rugby betting, super rugby, superrugby