Will it be New Zealand or Australia who emerges with the bragging rights from the 2013 Super Rugby final?
The Chiefs have dominated all season, look irresistible in front of their own fans and knocked out tournament legends Crusaders in the semi-finals. The stage is set for them to reclaim their title from last year.
But to do that, they’ll have to beat the Brumbies. The visitors have enjoyed a remarkable season that has seen them topple the British and Irish Lions and reach the final for the first time since their success in 2004.
The New Zealand side are overwhelming favourites to win due to their home advantage—they’ve yet to lose at home this season—and will be slightly fresher after avoiding the playoffs by virtue of their league position.
Want to keep abreast of all the action as it unfolds on Saturday? Then here’s the information you need to stay up to date.
Who: Waikato Chiefs vs. ACT Brumbies
When: Saturday, August 3 at 8:35 a.m. (BST) or 3:35 a.m. (ET)
Where: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand
Watch (UK Viewers): Sky Sports 1 from 8 a.m. (BST)
Watch (US Viewers): Direct TV Channel 490 at 3:35 a.m. (ET)
Live streaming is also available for UK viewers via Sky Player (subscription required).
The Chiefs destroyed the Sharks 37-6 in last year’s final, but this time around, it’s expected to be far closer.
As is often the case, this match could hinge on the form of the sides’ respective kickers. The visitor’s Christian Lealiifano has been the standout performer for the Brumbies, with displays of nerveless kicking, and he’ll be up against whoever is charged with the Chiefs’ goal-kicking responsibilities—either Gareth Anscombe or Aaron Cruden.
The Chiefs’ Hosea Gear and Brumbies’ Henry Speight both have an outside chance of finishing the campaign as Super Rugby’s top try scorer, although they would have to notch two apiece to challenge Blues’ Frank Halai at the top of the charts.
If the Brumbies are to cause an upset, their best chance is to get ahead early and silence the Waikato Stadium. With the home faithful expectant of success, the hosts will undoubtedly become nervous if the scoreboard shows them trailing.
It’s going to be close, with either a moment of magic or a mistake likely to be all that separates the sides from victory or defeat when the full-time siren sounds.