Hurricanes duo tip Lions for title
Cape Town - The Hurricanes leadership group has backed the Lions to win
their maiden Super Rugby title when they clash with the Crusaders in the final
It was the Hurricanes who bore the brunt of the Lions' wrath
on the Highveld in the early afternoon last Saturday, going down 44-29 despite leading
22-3 at one point.
The Hurricanes know what it takes to beat the Crusaders as
they are the only side in this season's competition to do so.
And coach Chris Boyd and captain Dane Coles believe the
Lions possess enough quality in their ranks to overcome the seven-times
"The Lions have got the advantage of playing at home in
the final, and that’s big,” said Boyd after his side’s dramatic implosion on
Meanwhile, Coles said: “The Lions are a quality side and
they’ve got great belief in their game ... you saw (on Saturday), they’re a
side that never gives us. I’m pretty sure they can go all the way. They
certainly deserve a final at home."
Coles went on to add that the travel factor would affect the
Crusaders and the Lions would be buoyed by their home support, who were a
veritable 16th man on Saturday.
“The crowd were pretty quiet in the first half (on
Saturday), but the more the Lions got into the game the more vocal they became
and they certainly helped to get their team over the line,” the 30-year-old
“That home support and the fact that the Crusaders have to
travel will play a part. That said, the Crusaders, with all their All Black
players, are an experienced team and have travelled a lot and will do
everything they can to have the best chance to win.”
Meanwhile, Boyd has pinpointed the battle of the forward
packs as the crucial factor in the outcome of the game.
“The guys with the small numbers on their backs (the
forwards) will decide the game,” said the Hurricanes coach.
“The pack that gets the ascendency on Saturday will win it
... and it’s sure to be a good contest because both teams have very good packs.
Despite the fact that the Lions play a very expansive game and score a lot of
tries when it comes down to the real key part of the game, it’ll be the battle
of the packs that decides it.”