Lions are pride of SA
THE Lions silenced their doubters in the best possible way by putting on a superlative second-half display to beat the highly fancied Hurricanes and set up a home Super Rugby final.
After going into the break 10-22 down, it looked like last year’s champions were coasting to victory, but the Lions roared back to score 32 points to seven in the second half for an emphatic 44-29 win.
After several years in the doldrums, which saw the Johannesburg-based franchise suffer the ignominy of being relegated, the Lions built up a squad to be reckoned with and are now on the brink of Super Rugby history.
After finishing last in the 2012 Super Rugby season, the Lions were replaced by the Kings. Johan Ackermann was appointed head coach and in 2013 the rebuilding phase began. In 2015, they won the Currie Cup and the following year lost in the Super Rugby final to the Hurricanes in Wellington.
On Saturday, Ellis Park is set for probably its biggest rugby match since the 1995 World Cup final. The match will be the final one in charge for coach Ackermann before he heads off to take up the reins at Gloucester. A fairy tale win over seven-time champions Crusaders would be a fitting farewell for the man who turned Lions rugby around.