Cape Town - The Lions’ decision to send a second string outfit to Argentina for their final regular season Super Rugby match against the Jaguares could yet cost the union millions.
After some surprising results on Saturday which saw the Hurricanes win the New Zealand Conference, all the Lions needed was a losing bonus point to finish atop the standings.
They looked good for it when they led 22-12 early in the second half, but the youngsters were unable to hold on and were eventually beaten 34-22, leaving empty-handed.
It saw the Lions finish second on the overall standings which could possibly cost them a home final.
It also means they now have a significantly tougher quarter-final against seven-time champions the Crusaders, compared to a match against the struggling Sharks who must now travel to New Zealand to face the ‘Canes.
According to Netwerk24, hosting the final at Ellis Park would have earned the Lions in the region of R10 million.
The Hurricanes are now favourites to host a home final after finishing top of the overall standings.