Ardie Savea thankful for chance in final

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Lynn McConnell     05 Aug 2016     Getty Images

He missed last year's final against the Hurricanes due to injury, and coach Chris Boyd said his absence had been a big factor in the Hurricanes' loss.


To be able to have the chance to try to change the result only a year later was a bonus and knowing the disappointments of previous finals chances for the side he welcomed the opportunity Saturday provided.

He remembered the fog final of 2006 and now to be part of an occasion like that was 'unreal', he said, and especially satisfying after the frustration he suffered when missing last year's final due to injury.

Savea said it had been vastly different to the week ahead of last year's final. Back then he had been concerned about getting his injured knee right.

"I didn't train with the boys and I wasn't in the environment much but this week has been awesome just getting amongst it and actually getting to train.

"I'm really looking forward to what is going to happen this week," he said.
Two days before last year's final he was confident he would be fit to play the final but on game day his knee had buckled.

"Luckily I don't have that situation this year so I'm really looking forward to it," he said.

Preparation this week had been unchanged as it was a case of treating it as they normally would.

"In the back of our minds we know it's not going to be like that, the Lions are going to come out in full force so we're prepared for that," he said.

While the weather had been an issue in their past two play-off games, he said they were used to training and playing in it so they were not bothered by it should it persist into Saturday.

"Hopefully it doesn't matter what the conditions are the boys will be up for it.

"They're big men and they run quite hard and straight so we've got to be on our toes and ready for that physical battle. It's a Super final and they've never been in one so they'll be coming out really physical and gunning for the boys so we've just got to be ready for that," he said.