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Full house for Super Rugby final

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    01 Aug 2017     Getty Images

The last of the 60,000 seats available were sold on Monday afternoon.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann will present the side for the last time for the final before heading to coach in England. He had asked after the 44-29 win over the Hurricanes for locals to turn up en masse and they have responded.

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"I know that time is running out. But every time I wish these players well before they go out to play it is special for me.

"I think back to 2013, 2014 and 2015 and where we are now…there are so many people to say thank you to. My whole management, the people behind the scenes, the people that cut the grass, the administrators…it's all memories that I have every time I drive in to the stadium.

"Now we have one more match…it's a privilege to play in a final in front of your home crowd," he said.

Meanwhile, debate about the yellow card incurred by Hurricanes first five-eighths Beauden Barrett at a crucial stage of the second half continues.

Barrett was penalised and dismissed for infringing with the progress of the ball when getting out of a tackle. The incident looked accidental but referee Jaco Peyper ruled otherwise.
Former Springboks coach Nick Mallet said it had been 'a pretty tough decision' while former Springbok five-eighth Naas Botha said 'it was a tough call'.

Mallett, who is a comments man for SuperSport television in South Africa, said it had been fantastic the way the Lions managed to win the semifinal in the second half by playing the sort of rugby supporters were wanting them to play before the game.

"They really dominated the driving maul, their forwards got across the advantage line.

"They stopped making the handling errors they had made in the first half, and by being patient with the ball in hand and attacking the press defence flat, without ceding a yard backwards, they managed to get penalties and then kicked for the corner and started scoring tries from those driving mauls.

"It just sucked all the fight out of this Hurricanes side that had really benefited from a number of mistakes the Lions made in the first half," he said.

"Momentum shifts in a game are really interesting. Suddenly in the second half it was one-way traffic for the Lions.

"They put pressure on the Hurricanes, who started to make all the mistakes, like trying to play from deep, throwing interception passes and not playing with the same calmness and strength on defence which had forced mistakes from the Lions in the first half," Mallett said.