THE second leg of the Super Rugby promotion play-off between the Lions and the Southern Kings at Ellis Park on Saturday will be bigger than any final, says Lions lock Franco van der Merwe.
The Lions have one foot in the door in their quest to return to the Super 15 competition after beating the Kings 26-19 in the first-leg encounter of the play-offs in Port Elizabeth last Friday.
“This weekend is going to be tough. It’s not even going to be like a final, it’s something bigger than that,” Van der Merwe said on Tuesday. “If you lose in a final, people can still congratulate you for coming second, but the side that loses this weekend will be out of Super Rugby.”
The Johan Ackermann-coached Lions — who were demoted from the competition to make way for the Kings this season — will need to avoid defeat if they are to return to the southern hemisphere top-flight competition, or at least gain a losing bonus point should the Kings, who finished at the bottom of the South African conference of the Super 15, manage to turn around last weekend’s result and win at Ellis Park.
With the Lions out of the