The best of New Zealand the best of South Africa collide in a Super Rugby final that guarantees us a first time victor.
$50 bonus bet refund at CrownBet on first tryscorer bets if your player scores during the match*.
This is the final, we know the merits of both sides, and they’ve made it here for good reason.
The Hurricanes guided by the wonderful Beauden Barrett playing such enterprising Rugby, and the Lions through Elton Jantjies providing plenty of excitement of their own.
The Lions broke the South African mould, branching out into an enterprising, offensive game, and they’ve been suitably rewarded for it with their success this year.
These two sides are a joy to watch, and it’s great for Super Rugby that teams who play these fun, exhilarating styles of Rugby have been so successful.
The Hurricanes are relatively firm favourites here, and there’s three big reasons why that is justified.
Firstly, the game is in Wellington. In saying that, I’m not simply referring to the fact that the Lions have to make the long journey to New Zealand, in fact at times that travel factor can be overstated, they’ve been sitting at home through the playoffs, they haven’t had an arduous travel schedule.
However, Wellington provides one of the better home ground advantages in Super Rugby for its Hurricanes. Renowned for the windy conditions, and New Zealand being dealt to with rain of late, the Canes know how to operate in this Wellington environment.
We’ve seen how Barrett has become the maestro of navigating these tricky conditions while still being able to play his brilliant attacking style of Rugby. Can Jantjies and the Lions do the same? It’s a big ask for a side who isn’t familiar with the weather and stadium the way the Canes are.
Elton Jantjies of Lions
Secondly, redemption. The Canes went to the final last year and lost it. In surrendering to the Highlanders, they became the only New Zealand Super Rugby side to not have a title.
Most of this side were involved in that game, they know how bad it feels to lose the most important game, and they’ll be driven to not go through those emotions again.
That’s something the Lions are not able to comprehend. They haven’t been so close only to stumble at the final hurdle, this season is a giant success in itself for the Lions who have been irrelevant in the history of Super Rugby. Sure none of them want to taste defeat, but they aren’t spurred on by the bitter taste in their mouths the way the Hurricanes will be.
Lastly, experience. Linking back to the previous point, the Canes have been here before, these aren’t fresh waters for them.
The playoffs are a whole new ride for the Lions, while the Hurricanes travelled this route last year, the nerves aren’t going to be as strong in the Hurricane camp.
They have a good deal of international experience with them as well, none more so than Cory Jane, who plays his first Super Rugby final since joining the Hurricanes in 2007 after missing the final last year through injury.
Even with the departure of Conrad Smith and Ma’a Nonu from last year’s squad, and a wealth of young faces in the team, there’s players who have been through the All Black environment and won championships, they may not be the All Blacks elder statesmen, but players like Jane, Barrett, TJ Perenara, Victor Vito, Julian Savea, they’ve been in winning, championship environments at the highest level.
They know what is required and they’ll help power the Canes home.
Hurricanes -7.5 ($1.91 UBET
*State exclusions apply to some offers. NSW Residents are excluded from bonuses and offers. Please read the T&Cs of each offer with each bookmaker.