Saturday 4th August 2018

Event of the day: Super Rugby Final 2018 Crusaders versus Lions

Our event of the day is the Super Rugby Final, with Christchurch hosting for the first time in 10 years. The Lions travel to the Crusaders' AMI Stadium in a replay of last years’ final which was hosted in Johannesburg. Both teams have made minimal changes from last weekend with the Crusaders forced into one change on the flank while the Lions have made two changes on the flank and the wing. Scott Robertson has replaced Jordan Taufua with Heiden Bedwell-Curtis at flanker. Swys De Bruin has started Courtnall Skosan over Aphiwe Dyantyi and Lourens Erasmus drops to the bench as Cyle Brink has recovered from a niggle. The Crusaders were victorious away from home in last year’s final but the Lions will hope that third time is the charm having lost the previous two finals. The Crusaders are the most successful side in Super Rugby and will hope to recreate their dynasty of old with successive championships while the Lions will be desperate to break their finals hoodoo.

Both teams are coming off the back of strong wins in the semi finals. Both the Crusaders and the Lions won their respective semi finals by a resounding 18 points. The Crusaders display was more assured as they were never not in control of their match against the Hurricanes while the Lions were down against the Waratahs before clawing their way back to a confident win. The final will be hotly contested as both teams will be motivated by their own expectations. The Crusaders have the historical expectation of a proven championship side against the enthusiastic Lions who will want to shed the bridesmaid tag. Expect the scrum battle to be immense and it will be up to the Lions to try and contain the Crusaders exciting backline. The weather in Christchurch is looking good and should allow for an open and exciting game of rugby.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to UFC 227 with T.J. Dillashaw vs Cody Garbrandt meeting in the main event. The Staples Centre in Los Angeles will host the fight as Garbrandt looks to win back the UFC bantamweight crown that he lost by knockout to Dillashaw at UFC 217. The first test between England and India enters the fourth day with the game on a knife edge - India require 84 more runs and England need 5 more wickets. Day 13 of the Women’s Hockey World Cup sees the semi final show downs with Ireland versus Spain and Netherlands versus Australia. Both Spain and the Netherlands won their quarter finals in regulation time whereas their opponents both won in shootouts after time had elapsed. In the English Football League Championship, Sheffield United host Swansea City. Both teams will hope for a good start to the season with Swansea City wanting to move straight back into the Premier League. Sheffield United will look to improve on their 10th placed finish of last season. Day 3 of the PGA Tour continues with the Bridgestone Invitational being played at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. The women's European Championships in Gymnastics at the SSE Hydro takes place along with the continuation of the Swimming, Track Cycling and Rowing. Bangladesh continue their Tour of West Indies and compete in the 2nd T20 International. The New York Yankees will look to come back after a thrashing from the Boston Red Sox in Major League Baseball.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

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Photos by Super Rugby

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