Hurricanes succumb to Lions

Hurricanes succumb to Lions”

He was often employed a reserve a year ago, coming off the bench to replace Jason Woodward late in the 20-3 triumph in the final against the Lions. Springbok centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg remains on the bench as Johan Ackermann continues to favour Harold Vorster.

Listening to Ackermann, who leaves South Africa to coach Gloucester after Super Rugby ends, you nearly believe this result is a fait accompli.

The Lions may not have played any New Zealand sides this season, but it's still a stretch to make the Hurricanes such overwhelming favourites, based purely on the travel factor.

"But it is a playoff, there's a lot of pressure on and when they came to us previous year, they weren't the champions - they were on their way to becoming that".

"Some of the guys got injured - our two starting props from last year - and also one or two guys retired, but the core is there, and they picked up that experience last year in the final and the playoffs".

Coles returned off the bench in that win having been missing since March after suffering a concussion against the Otago Highlanders.

After pretty much being outplayed in the first half and trailing 22-3 after 37 minutes, Johannesburg's Pride staged the bravest of comebacks in their semifinal against the Hurricanes at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The Hurricanes skipper will become the 11th player to achieve 100 caps for the Hurricanes after Andrew Hore, Cory Jane, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Rodney So'oialo, Jeremy Thrush, Neemia Tialata, Tana Umaga, Victor Vito and Julian Savea.

"The Hurricanes are a team that play in your face", said Ackermann.

Former South Africa fly-half Naas Botha said: "It was a tough call against Beauden to show him a yellow card".

"Elton has been consistently good this season".

"He didn't kick well against the Sharks last week but could easily knock everything over against us". "So it's obviously a mammoth task to play against them. they're just a quality team".

Tries just before and after half-time from prop Jacques van Rooyen and man-of-the-match award victor and scrum-half Ross Cronje turned the tide.

Jordie Barrett missed a kick that would have levelled the score and two further home tries put the game to bed - Jantjies and Kwagga Smith rounding off a stunning afternoon for the Lions.

Replacements: 16 Akker van der 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.

The Lions then dominated an astonishing second period, scoring a further five tries to gain sweet revenge over the Hurricanes and book a home final against the Crusaders.

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