RECAP: Lions v Hurricanes
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to our coverage of the Super Rugby Round 17 between the Lions and Hurricanes at Ellis Park.
The Hurricanes need just two competition points – from their remaining matches against the Lions and Blues – to guarantee themselves a home quarterfinal.
However, Hurricanes coach John Plumtree is not about to leave anything to chance and hope to secure the necessary points on the Highveld.
“We know how desperate the Lions will be,” Plumtree said.
“They are still in the mix to also host a play-off match and we know how tough they can be to beat at home.”
Lions captain Malcolm Marx said he expects a “quick” and “physical” game from the Hurricanes – similar to the merciless performance the New Zealand franchise produced in the win over the Sharks a week earlier.
2018: Hurricanes won 28-19, Wellington
2017: Lions won 44-29, Johannesburg (semifinal)
2016: Hurricanes won 20-3, Wellington (Final)
2016: Hurricanes won 50-17, Johannesburg
2015: Hurricanes won 22-8, Johannesburg
Prediction: The Hurricanes have won nine of their last 10 matches against the Lions, their only loss in that time coming in the 2017 Super Rugby semifinal (29-44). The Lions have won 10 of their last 12 Super Rugby games on home turf, including their last three on the bounce. The Hurricanes have won their last four away games on the bounce in Super Rugby; the last time they won more was a six-game streak in their first six away games of 2015. The Lions are one of only two teams (Rebels) with a success rate of 90 percent or greater at both the line-out (90 percent) and scrum (93 percent) this Super Rugby campaign. Ardie Savea (Hurricanes) won a round-high six turnovers in Round 16 to take his season tally to 22, the most of any player thus far in Super Rugby 2019.
LIVE: Lions v Hurricanes
Kick-off: 15.05 (local); 13.05 GMT; 01.05, Sunday, June 9 NZ time.
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Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Albertus Smith, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (captain), 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Tyrone Green.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett,, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Chase Tiatia, 10 James Marshall, 9 Thomas Perenara (captain), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Liam Mitchell, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Danny Toala, 23 Salesi Rayasi.
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds (South Africa), Stefan Geldenhuys (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)