Lions to face Cru­saders in Su­per de­cider

Muscat Daily - - PRESS RELEASES -

Syd­ney, Aus­tralia - South Africa's Golden Lions will have a home ad­van­tage as it chases its first Su­per Rugby crown against seven-time cham­pi­ons Can­ter­bury Cru­saders in the sea­son de­cider af­ter week­end vic­to­ries.

The Lions stormed back from 22-3 down late in the first half to claim a 44-29 win over de­fend­ing cham­pion Welling­ton Hur­ri­canes to keep the fi­nal in Jo­han­nes­burg next week­end.

The Cru­saders, who fin­ished sec­ond be­hind the Lions in the reg­u­lar sea­son stand­ings, will have to make the trip to South Africa af­ter ac­count­ing for New Zealand ri­vals Waikato Chiefs 27-13 in the other semi­fi­nal in Christchurch.

It will be the fourth time a Su­per Rugby fi­nal has been staged in South Africa since 1996.

The Lions will be aim­ing to give its coach Jo­han Ack­er­mann a fit­ting send-off af­ter four re­ju­ve­nat­ing years in charge by win­ning the fi­nal at El­lis Park over the bench­mark Su­per Rugby club.

"That's what I al­ways hoped for, that the day I fin­ished here would be in front of our home fans and on our own field," said Ack­er­mann, who is leav­ing to coach English side Glouces­ter.

The Lions lost the 2016 fi­nal to Hur­ri­canes in Welling­ton, its tenth de­feat by the New Zealand out­fit in 11 meet­ings.

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