THE MONEY MAN says the Lions' long trip to New Zealand won't be a factor in the Super Rugby final.
Many people say it's impossible to travel to New Zealand and win, but is it really? Perhaps in previous Super Rugby competitions, as teams had very difficult travel schedules, but this cannot be used as an excuse by the Lions. Indeed with their humility, I doubt they would do so.
One of the main reasons this Lions team has gelled so well is because they have not travelled any further than Port Elizabeth in the past 20 weeks. Sure, there was the trip to Argentina, but the first-choice players were tucked up in bed or on the couch watching from the comfort of their homes.
Twenty weeks is an incredible amount of time to spend together, in fact it is unheard of in the modern game. The Lions have only travelled 43,000km all year – compared to the Highlanders, who travelled 45,000km in the past three weeks – and it would have been a well-bonded and refreshed Lions team that landed in Wellington on Monday.
My main concern is the weather, which has been dreadful for the past month and shows no sign of letting up. But with Hurricanes captain Dan Coles injured (apparently he is weeks away from regaining fitness) and Lions captain Warren Whiteley set to be fit to play, it should be a close game if the Lions can dominate up front.
If the Lions do lose, it won’t be because they had a difficult travel schedule.
Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images