The 2017 Super Rugby season has come down to this match and the winner of the Lions v Crusaders will be the Super Rugby champion for 2017.
The Lions host the Super Rugby final as they finished ahead of the Crusaders on points at the end of the regular season.
The Lions and Crusaders have not met since last year in the quarter finals when the Lions beat the Crusaders 42-25 in Johannesburg.
The seven matches prior to that were all won by the Crusaders regardless of the venue. Overall the Lions have played the Crusaders 18 times and the Lions have won four matches.
The Lions have a record of winning 22% of their matches against the Crusaders across all venues. In Johannesburg the teams have met 10 times and the Lions
have won 3 matches and lost seven which gives them a record of winning 30% of their home matches against the Christchurch side.
The average score when the Lions host the Crusaders is Lions 27 Crusaders 30.
The Lions will have home advantage and the advantage of a local South African referee Jaco Peyper who was in charge of their match against the Hurricanes last weekend.
Interestingly under Peyper the Lions have played 11 matches and won 8. The Crusaders have also played 11 matches under Peyper and they too have won 8 so both teams have a 72% win record under Peyper.
Another interesting stat is that the Lions have now won 14 consecutive matches which is the longest ever streak for a South African side.
The Bookies have given the Lions a 1 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. The Lions of 2017 are a much improved team compared to years gone by but the Crusaders are filled with All Blacks and experience and have a great record in Johannesburg. They have also been more heavily tested this season so should be more battle hardened. The Crusaders should edge this by 2.
Average score: Lions 26 Crusaders 36
Last five results
Sat, 23 Jul 2016 Lions v Crusaders 42-25 Johannesburg
Fri, 01 Apr 2016 Lions v Crusaders 37-43 Johannesburg
Sat 14 Mar 2015 Lions v Crusaders 6-34 Christchurch
Sat, 05 Apr 2014 Lions v Crusaders 7-28 Johannesburg
Sat, 31 Mar 2012 Lions v Crusaders 13-23 Johannesburg
Lions overall record against the Crusaders
Played 18,Wins 4,Losses 14,Draws 0
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 2: Marius van der Westhuizen
TMO: Marius Jonker
1. Jacques van Rooyen , 2. Malcolm Marx , 3. Ruan Dreyer , 4. Andries Ferreira , 5. Franco Mostert , 6. Jaco Kriel (c) , 7. Albertus “Kwagga” Smith , 8. Ruan Ackermann , 9. Ross Cronje , 10. Elton Jantjies , 11. Courtnall Skosan , 12. Harold Vorster , 13. Lionel Mapoe , 14. Ruan Combrinck , 15. Andries Coetzee
Replacements : 16. Akker vd Merwe , 17. Corne Fourie , 18. Johannes Jonker , 19. Lourens Erasmus , 20. Cyle Brink , 21. Faf de Klerk , 22. Rohan Janse van Rensburg , 23. Sylvian Mahuza
David Havili, Israel Dagg, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, Seta Tamanivalu, Richie Mo’unga, Bryn Hall, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua, Sam Whitelock (c), Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody
Replacements : Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett, Michael Alaalatoa, Luke Romano, Pete Samu, Mitchell Drummond, Mitchell Hunt, George Bridge