Not many are given the Lions any chances in next weeks final against the Crusaders in Christchurch, and for most of their reasoning they will be right….but….
We have seen finals comes and go over the years with the one thing we need to keep in mind, it is a once-off.
No second chances and any mistake on the day, big or small can cost you, just asked the Lions and Kwagga Smith from last years final.
The one thing the Lions have this year which the Crusaders had last year, they got nothing to loose.
The whole world have written them off already and I cannot count how many tweets I have seen yesterday suggesting that the Saders must just be give the trophy.
That is what a team like the Lions want to hear. They will be playing with no fear simply going out and trowing everything they got at the Crusaders.
Pressure at this level is something we do not speak off most of the time but that pressure will be on the Crusaders who has been the best team again this year by far.
For the Lions, they have made another milestone in being the first SA team to reach the finals three years running
“The third time lucky” is exactly what the Lions may need to beat the Crusaders in their own back yard but luck plays a very big role in games like this sometimes.
The Lions have been getting better game by game since some of their star players returned from injury and that boosted performances from other players in the squad as well.
With having one of the best tight five combinations in the competition, you do not need to be a rocket scientist to know how the Lions will approach this game.
Reaching a final means you give yourself a chance and that is all one need to lift a trophy after 80 minutes.
If you want to be the best you need to be able to beat the best and the Lions can make history next Saturday.
Not many other teams have crossed the Indian Ocean and came out victories but the Lions can take a page out of their opponents this week who has done it a few times.
Realistically the Crusaders will lift the trophy for yet another year but the Lions can go out with all they have and surprise the crap out of everyone.
The only way they will be able to do this is to play to their strength and that is their brilliant pack of forwards.
The other is to get their defence working from the first minute of the match.
Starving the Crusaders from ball and making sure they do not give them opportunity to feast of their mistakes or give them easy counter attacking opportunities.
This means that Jantjies and the rest of the backs can not kick away ball senselessly like they did against the Waratahs. The Crusaders will punish you and before you know you will be 20 points behind.
They cannot allow the Crusaders to get away from them at all and need to start the game much better than they did in the last few weeks.
The Lions can turn Mission Impossible into Mission Possible