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Lions through to Super Rugby final for 3rd year in a row

The Lions beat the Waratahs 44 - 26.

The Emirates Lions during their match against the Waratahs. Picture: Emirates Lions/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Emirates Lions have triumphed over the Waratahs, securing their spot in the Vodacom Super Rugby final for the third year in a row.

The Lions will play the Crusaders in a super rugby final rematch in Christchurch next weekend after beating a stubborn Waratahs side 44 - 26 at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors sped out of the blocks scoring two quick tries through hard working flanker Ned Hanigan after they created an overlap down the right-hand side. Israel Folau then stepped his way through the Lions defense for his 16th of the season.

After that fast-paced start, the Lions settled well and controlled the possession better.

Kwagga Smith fought off three defenders on his way to the try line to open the Lions account. Springbok winger Aphiwe Dyantyi showed a brilliant piece of individual skill to chip and gather himself and narrow the gap to 14 - 12.

Malcolm Marx then scored from the back of a powerful rolling maul that was functioning well all afternoon. But Tom Robertson levelled the scores at 19 all going into halftime.

The altitude kicked in heavily as the 'Tahs struggled to keep up with the pace of the game. The Lions dually capitalized as they slowly picked up the pace of the game. Smith scored his second of the afternoon when he found the 'Tahs pillar post defense absent and raced over the line.

Marx also found his second of the afternoon, typically of the back of the rolling maul. Courtnall Skosan rounded off the scoring when he received a beautiful cross-field kick from Elton Jantjies.

The Lions will have to travel to Christchurch next weekend and hope that it’s third time lucky in the super rugby final.