No miracles in Christchurch for Lions - SA critic
Wednesday, August 1, 2018 Getty Images
QUICK TAP: CRUSADERS WILL HAVE TO EARN TITLE - HANSEN
"The only hope for the Lions is the Crusaders lose a player or two on the way out of the tunnel," he said on sport24.co.za.
The Lions had been in the same position before, in 2016, when travelling to Wellington to play the Hurricanes. But the team that had scored most tries in the competition went tryless in their 3-20 loss.
The travel, and the class of the Hurricanes had undone them and Saturday would be a Groundhog Day for the Lions in Christchurch.
Comparing the sides, Keohane said in a combined side the Lions would have five players, at best.
"The Crusaders front row is the All Blacks' front row, lock Sam Whitelock is the most experienced All Blacks lock and captained the All Blacks in the absence of Kieran Read, who is fit again and starting at No.8.
"Add flyhalf Richie Mo'unga to the equation and you see why the bookies have so emphatically written off the Lions chances and given the visitors a handicap of 17.5 points," he said.
The Crusaders were the best side at their level in the world, they knew how to win away from home and they had mastered the art of winning at home.
The reality of that was faced by the Sharks when they lost to the Crusaders in the quarterfinal. They had finished in eighth place, 27 points behind the Crusaders on the points table, so the margin of the win was representative of the difference between the sides, he said.
There would be no miracle in Christchurch on Saturday, Keohane said, and if there was to be a miracle for South Africans it would be when the Springboks met the All Blacks in Wellington on September 15.
CROSS-KICK | Who did it better, Richie Mo'unga or Elton Jantjies? Don't miss the battle of the ?? jersey in the #SuperRugby final. ????
? 7.35pm, Saturday 4 August
??? AMI Stadium, Christchurch
?? #CRUvLIO pic.twitter.com/GgUusb7yEI— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) August 1, 2018
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