Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd feels that his side’s “knockout” attitude going to back to the beginning of May has been a key factor in their success.
Boyd’s team haven’t lost since that 32-15 loss to the Sharks in Durban on May 7, finishing the regular season with five straight wins before triumphing in the quarter-final and semi-final against the Sharks and Chiefs.
Building that experience of playing under the highest pressure Boyd feels is a key asset heading into Saturday’s final.
“If we go back to when we lost against the Sharks and came back home, I think we’ve been playing knockout football since then,” Boyd told NZ Newswire.
“So we’ve been playing knock-out football for a long time now and are getting pretty good at it. Last year, we didn’t have the luxury of that momentum.”
Boyd also recognised the impressive form of the Lions in the play-offs following their big wins over the Crusaders and Highlanders over the last couple of weeks.
Much has also been made of the battle at fly-half between Beauden Barrett and Elton Jantjies, with Boyd hailing the Lions number ten as a quality player.
“They’ve scored a huge number of points this year and dispatched two New Zealand sides in the last two weeks,” Boyd said.
“Clearly their set piece is going to be a key factor, especially if it’s going to get wet.
“I think [Barrett and Jantjies] are different, but they both have capable skills.
“He [Jantjies] is a quality player and his confidence will be very high after the last couple of weeks.”