2016 Super Rugby Final – Hurricanes v Lions – Preview & Betting Tips

2016 Super Rugby final

The following is a preview with betting tips for the 2016 Super Rugby final, which sees the Hurricanes host the Lions at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

View and compare bookmaker odds for this clash.

View the form guide.

Despite all of the complaints regarding the playoff seeding structure, it’s hard to argue that the 2016 Super Rugby final doesn’t feature the two best sides in the competition. If you ignore the Lions’ defeat to the Jaguares when they sent over a second string team, neither side has lost a game since Round 12.


Saturday, 6 August


2016 Super Rugby Final
Hurricanes v Lions

5:35 PM AEST, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
View a detailed form guide for Hurricanes v Lions

The Hurricanes are the only New Zealand team not to have won a Super Rugby title but they enter the final as strong favourites. They put in another defensive clinic last week as they suffocated the Chiefs 25-9 in Wellington. This was on the back of 41-0 win over the Sharks so the Hurricanes have yet to concede a try during the playoffs. If you include the Round 17 clash against the Crusaders it has been 200 minutes of rugby since an opponent has crossed the try line. The Hurricanes defeated the Lions 50-17 in Johannesburg in Round 10 so they will be confident they can go one better than last season, when they lost to the Highlanders in the final. The Hurricanes will be pleased to be at home for this clash. They have only suffered one loss at Westpac Stadium this year, which was a one-point defeat to the Chiefs in a game where the visitors had more than their fair share of luck. The Hurricanes will be hoping they can get captain Dane Coles back for this clash because they came off second best at set pieces last week. They will also hope that their 9/10 combo of TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett can continue their sublime run of form.

The Lions enter the final on the back of convincing wins over the Crusaders and Highlanders. What stood out from those victories was the fact that they scored 42 points against each side, with the Highlanders in particular known for their strong defence, which was ranked first in the competition leading up to last week. What stands the Lions apart from the other South African franchises is their success in open play, rather than relying on dominance at set pieces, which explains why they’ve managed to be competitive against Kiwi sides. Given the importance of home advantage in the playoffs the Lions may be ruing their decision to send a second string squad to Argentina for their final regular season fixture. Even a bonus point would have secured top seed, but they lost 22-34 and along with it a home final. In team news, captain Warren Whiteley missed the semi-final due to injury but the Lions hope to have him back this week.

Head-to-head pick: Hurricanes
Line pick: Lions +8.0

Betting: the Lions bring excellent form into this clash, but history is firmly against them. In the 20 year history of Super Rugby, no South African team has ever won a playoff game in Australasia. To date South African sides have a 0-15 playoff record on overseas soil. The Lions are not your typical South African side, however, so I’m not prepared to put a line through them. Since 2003, 11 of the 13 Super Rugby finals were won by 12 points or less, so I would back the Hurricanes 1-12 at 2.80 (Betstar). This selection is as low as 2.40 with other bookmakers.


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