Final: The Big Dance

02 Aug 2018
Final: The Big Dance

For the first time in Super Rugby history, the same two teams will face off in back-to-back Finals with the Crusaders and Lions once more doing battle for the trophy.

It will mark the fifth time in the last seven campaigns that the final is hosted in New Zealand, after the Lions took hosting rights in the 2017 edition. The home town team hasn’t boasted much of an advantage in recent exchanges, however, with two of the last three deciders won by the away team on the day (including the Crusaders’ victory last season.

There’s no doubting the Crusaders’ credentials at this stage - they’ve won more Grand Finals than any other team has even played in. The Canterbury squad have won two thirds of all finals they’ve contested.

Only four other teams in the history of Super Rugby have lifted the trophy on multiple occasions; the Bulls (3), Blues (3), Chiefs (2), and Brumbies (2) the only teams to do so.

This will be the third attempt in as many years at taking the trophy home for the Lions, who will be looking to avoid compounding an already worrying record.

They are one of only three teams to have reached the final but never won it, while only the Sharks (4 times) have had more opportunities at the trophy without success.

We can expect a tight contest on Saturday evening, with seven of the previous 12 Super Rugby Finals being decided by single-digit margins. Only twice in Super Rugby history has any team managed to win a Final outside their home country, however. On each occasion, the Crusaders showed resilience on the road - defeating the Brumbies in Australia in 2000 and clinching the trophy last campaign against the Lions in South Africa.