Previewing 2018 Super Rugby Playoffs: Final

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HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND – AUGUST 04, during the Super Rugby final match between Chiefs and The Sharks at Waikato Stadium on August 04, 2012 in Hamilton, New Zealand Photo by Steve Haag / Gallo Images

It’s the final week of the season and it’s the best part too, it’s to determine who is the champion of the 2018 Super Rugby season. The final match of the 2018 campaign will come down to the Crusaders and the Lions as it will be a rematch of last year’s Final.

The Crusaders showed why they were the best side all year as they beat the Hurricanes 30-12 in the Semi-Finals. Richie Mo’unga is showing why he’s becoming one of the best fly-halves in the world as he scored a try, nailed two penalty kicks, and converted on two point after attempts, but he was also helped by from his teammates as tries from George Bridge, David Havili, and Braydon Ennor helped the Crusaders to victory. The defense was also fantastic as they allowed only a try through the first 79 minutes, until giving up one more in the 80th.

The Lions executed their powerful offense to good use against the Waratahs as the Waratahs had their Achilles’ Heel exposed, their defense, with the Lions putting up a victorious 44-26 score. Elton Jantjies had a solid match as he chipped in two penalty kicks and converted on four point after attempts. However, their offense scored six tries as Kwagga Smith and Malcolm Marx each had two and Aphiwe Dyantyi and Courtnall Skosan.

The Crusaders will be looking for their ninth Super Rugby title as the Lions will be looking for their first. The Lions have made the Final for the third straight season and are hoping that third time is the charm. The Crusaders will be hoping to add another title as they have eight, the most ever in Super Rugby history as the closest are the Blues and Bulls with three each. The two sides met in Week 7 as that was the only meeting between them and the Crusaders won that one 14-8. No matter what, there will be history as the Crusaders look to solidify themselves as the most successful rugby club in the world and look to go back to back, while another team looks to win it’s first ever championship.

Predictions

James Rowe: Crusaders. I hate to be the bearer of bad news for the Lions, but the “third time is the charm” luck won’t occur here. The Crusaders are clearly the best team, though the Lions fire power will be hard to contain. I truly believe defense wins championships and the Crusaders have the best one. Hard not to pick them.

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