Habana: The game of rugby needs Jaguares to beat Crusaders
Cape Town - Springbok legend Bryan Habana believes a Jaguares win over the Crusaders in Saturday's Super Rugby final would not only be a personal highlight for him, but it also a major positive for the game.
"For the game of rugby in general, it would be pretty spectacular to see the Jaguares win an away final, and particularly one in Christchurch against the best Super Rugby team ever," said Habana, who is travelling to the final as the host of the Vodacom Red Final Tour in which he is accompanied by a group of Vodacom Red clients who won this experience.
"On a global scale for rugby, a Jaguares win would be massive. It would be like the Bulls winning Super Rugby for the first time in 2007. I think it's been absolutely brilliant for Super Rugby seeing the success of the Jaguares over the last couple of years, particularly this year as they won the South African conference, secured a home semi-final, and then put the Brumbies properly back in the sheds in that game. And they've done so playing a brand of rugby that's getting everyone incredibly excited."
Even though the Jaguares are coming up against the most dominant team in Super Rugby history, Habana believes the final could be a lot more competitive than many may expect.
"They're coming up against a Crusaders side that many believe were pretty lucky to make it into the final, given how well the Hurricanes played in that second half of their semi-final. Then, if you look at the history of the Jaguares and their travelling abilities, they've become one of the most successful sides travelling to Australasia.
"They've found what works for them and they're applying it on the field. And what's probably been the most pleasant to watch is that they're not scared to use their specific skill sets. They're bringing an individualistic brand that is very unique to Argentinian rugby, and I think that bodes well for them not only in this final, but definitely also in a Rugby World Cup year."
Of the multitude of highs Habana has experienced throughout his rugby career, the Springbok legend says being in the stadium to watch the Jaguares beat the Crusaders would rank amongst his most memorable experiences in the game.
"It's pretty cool... I really think it's all set up to be a pretty spectacular final."