One thing we’re sure about is that South African rugby fans are in for a treat as the country’s two most attacking teams meet in what is widely expected to be an epic decider.
The last time the teams crossed paths in the final of the world’s oldest rugby competition was in 1986 in Cape Town. That match also happened to be the first final ever televised by M-Net.
The sides have only met in the final four times since 1939. Three of these finals were in Cape Town and one in Johannesburg and each team won two, with the biggest winning margin being 13 points.
While a victory would be equally rewarding for either team, Western Province will place a big emphasis on claiming the title as the last time they won a home final was in 2001, while they will also want to celebrate their captain Juan de Jongh’s 50th cap in style.
Given the small margins between the sides on attack and defence this season, this final could follow a similar pattern to their previous finals. The Lions scored 44 tries and conceded 21 in the pool stages of the competition, while Western Province scored 40 tries and conceded 23.
With these sides boasting the best attack in the competition, the challenge will be for them to continue displaying the entertaining attacking rugby which has kept them above the chasing pack throughout the season, rather than adopting the cautious approach associated with finals rugby.
Interestingly, the Cape side has won nine of the last 10 match-ups between the sides at home.
This impressive track-record included their 27-14 victory against the Lions at Newlands in the pool stages this season. But the visitors pipped Western Province 35-33 in the return match in Johannesburg.
Ed: We reckon Lions would be victorious!
The finale takes place at Newlands, Cape Town.