Hurricanes look to complete NZ's Super history
RUGBY UNION: A new champion will raise the Super Rugby trophy next weekend, with the Hurricanes and the Lions booking their spots in the final after convincing wins.
Both sides took down former champions to earn their spot in the title decider, the Hurricanes downing the Chiefs 25-9 before the Lions swept past the Highlanders 42-30 to make their first final.
For both franchises it is a chance to avenge years of suffering.
The Hurricanes are the only New Zealand team not to win a Super Rugby title, having twice finished runners-up in their 21-year history. They came closest to ending that drought last year after dominating the competition early on before falling at the final hurdle to the Highlanders.
While Kiwi fans were deprived of seeing a re-match of the 2015 final, the Lions are deserving finalists after setting the pace throughout the competition.
Two-time semi-finalists under the Cats moniker in 2000 and 2001, the franchise had not made the playoffs since then.
However, to break their drought in style, they will have to win on the road, with the Hurricanes hosting the final on Saturday night.
Hurricanes skipper Dane Coles will be given until moments before the grand final to prove his fitness.
Coles suffered a rib injury during his side's 41-0 quarter-final mauling of the Sharks and was unable to recover in time for the
"I'm not a medical man but they say that with these things, when you're ready, you play,” head coach Chris Boyd said. "We'll give him until kick-off on Saturday.”
Hurricanes 25 (W. Halaholo, B. Barrett, V. Vito tries; B. Barrett 2 pens, 2 cons) def Chiefs 9 (D. McKenzie 3 pens)
Lions 42 (Elton Jantjies, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Courtnall Skosan, Jaco Kriel, Lourens Erasmus tries; Jantjies 4 cons, 3 pens) def Highlanders 30 (Matt Faddes, Lima Sopoaga, Waisake Naholo, Joe Wheeler tries; Lima Sopoaga 2 pens, 2 cons)