Lions captain Warren Whiteley admits the Super Rugby conference system benefited his side this season.
The Lions, who won the South African conference, finished second on the overall log despite having the fourth-most log points. That saw them host a quarter-final against the Jaguares and semi-final against the Waratahs, before travelling to Christchurch for the final against the Crusaders, who topped the overall log.
‘There is no doubt that the conference system was in our favour,’ Whiteley said after his team’s 37-18 defeat on Saturday. ‘We finished fourth overall on points, and because of the conference system, we drew a home quarter and a home semi.
‘It definitely worked in our favour but as players, you can only play. We don’t decide on the system.
‘In saying that, I still feel that we deserved to be here. We had to play to get here.’
Whiteley does not see the current format lasting.
‘I think it will change in due course,’ he said. ‘As players, you want to play against everyone. I think that’s fairer and as players you enjoy it more, so I’m sure it will change.’
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