Click here to Watch Lions v Highlanders Live Saturday 30th July 13:00 GMT
The one remaining side in the 2016 Super Rugby tournament from outside New Zealand, the Lions, will host the second semi-final at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday, with the reigning Champions the Highlanders, being the visitors. The Lions came through what was expected to be an extremely stern test in the quarter-final last weekend against the Crusaders. Outscoring their visitors by 5-3 tries, the final score of 45-20 was far more comfortable than even the most passionate of Lions fans could have hoped for.
The Lions, who will host the Grand Final, if the Chiefs upset the Hurricanes in Wellington earlier in the day on Saturday, have won three and loss three matches against Kiwi opposition in 2016. Including a 15-34 reverse in Dunedin back in Round 3 against Saturday's opponents. The Highlanders produced probably the best performance of any side in the last eight, as they travelled to Canberra to face the Brumbies. A fierce regard action saw them cling on for a memorable 15-9 success. The Champions have only played one fixture in South Africa in 2016, a 48-18 success against the lowly Kings. They have however, won only three of their last nine matches in the Republic.
Posted: 9th May 2015
Saturdays match in Johannesburg between the Lions and the touring Highlanders, is a vital fixture for both teams in their pursuit of a top six finish, and a place in the 2015 Super Rugby play-offs. After a run of five successive wins, the Lions were beaten last weekend by the Bulls in a thriller at Loftus Versfeld, going down by 33-35. That result saw them slip adrift of the Conference leading Bulls, rather than over taking them. They now trail the Bulls by seven points, and are also three points behind the Stormers. The Highlanders are also third in their national Conference. However, the New Zealand Conference is the strongest in the Super Rugby tournament. They hold a top six position, which will be good enough to qualify at the end of the regular season, which is probably the extent of their ambitions, as they trail table toppers the Hurricanes by 10 points. The Highlanders have faced South African opposition twice this season, and enjoyed thumping wins on both occasions. The Sharks were downed by 48-15 last weekend, while the Stormers were also hammered 39-21.
The Highlanders last won in Johannesburg in 2005, but have only played at the venue twice since then, the last time being in 2009. The Lions recent record at home against touring sides from New Zealand doesn't make for pretty reading, with just two wins in their last 12 fixtures.
Tags: Super Rugby
, Ellis Park