2017 Super Rugby campaign took over in February and all eyes were on different players, teams and key takeouts of the tournament to write down during the challenge. However taking it down to Johannesburg based rugby club Emirates Lions, the team has enjoyed the campaign with positive results that led them to reach the semi-finals. However, Lions are familiar with the landscape of the Super Rugby challenge due to having reached the Super Rugby final last year despite a heartbreaking 20-3 loss to finish as runners up against Hurricanes. More importantly, the highlight so far has been a good run at home with 13 games unbeaten and their biggest record being an inspiring 94 – 7 victory against Sunwolves. The Lions scored an impressive 14 tries in the process against an anti-social effort from the Sunwolves and the result staged a serious statement to other Super Rugby contenders in the race. Without forgetting their positive team spirit and self-belief to win big, The Lions booked their ticket to the semi finals after an inspiring 23-21 victory via Ruan Combrink’s last minute penalty kick.
3 terminator ingredients for the Lions that keeps the team moving include:
- Consistency – Being unbeaten in 13 games at home and only losing one game out of 15 games.
- Collectivism – All players are determined to fight for each other’s place in the team and you saw Jaco Kriel joined the party to lead the team with a positive approach going forward through Warren Whiteley being ruled out for a couple of weeks due to an injury.
- Attention to detail – The resistance of the team to keep on fighting and manage to get the results is the best highlight. It simply sends a good message to how the teams act according to details. This could be their stunning away 6-13 victory against Brumbies at GIO Stadium.
In a nutshell, the Lions face an unpredictable side of Hurricanes with a convincing run in this year’s Super Rugby campaign as they thrashed out Brumbies 16-35 to make it to the semi final. In that case Lions vs Hurricanes is another CLASH OF THE YEAR in the sporting world and the match could be turned into one side revenging and maining their unbeaten run at home. Taking everything into context Lions outshining outshine Hurricanes to reach the finals and lift the title will be an inspiring send-off for Johan Ackerman as he will be departing to England.
29th of July 2017 Super Rugby semi finals:
Crusaders v Chiefs – AMI Stadium, 09:35
Lions v Hurricanes – Emirates Airlines Park, 14:30