Marx seeks home advantage

Hooker Malcolm Marx wants the Lions to capitalise on their home advantage when they face the Hurricanes in Saturday’s Super Rugby semi-final in Johannesburg.

The Lions were beaten 20-3 in last year’s final by the Hurricanes who were the home team with the match played in wet Wellington.

The Lions struggled to adapt to the conditions that day, but on Saturday the match will be played in the early afternoon on the Highveld, where conditions are more than likely to be dry.

And this is something Marx believes the Lions have to make the most of as this year could represent their best opportunity yet of winning a maiden Super Rugby title.

“It’s not every day that you get into the Super Rugby playoffs for a second year in a row and this time as the top-placed team,” Marx told The Star newspaper.

“We certainly want to make that count for us.

“We did the hard work last year as well and would have loved to win the title then, but it was always going to be difficult away from home and playing against a team more familiar with the weather conditions we faced on the day.

“But now we have an opportunity in front of us and need to take advantage of playing at home.

“Of course it is an advantage playing at home, and knowing we got through the quarters and semis last year; we’re a more experienced side now, but we can’t rely on that.

“Just look how hard the Sharks pushed us last weekend…and this week it’s going to be even tougher.”

Meanwhile, Marx is relishing the prospect of going to head-to-head with All Blacks hooker Dane Coles, who will make his 100th Super Rugby appearance on Saturday.