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Vodacom Super Rugby 2017 will be a season to remember for the Johannesburg-based Emirates Lions. After a tough regular season in which they lost only one game, the Lions found themselves top of the overall Vodacom Super Rugby log and were deservedly labelled as South Africa’s big hope to claim the 2017 Trophy.

Being overall log leaders meant that the Lions would play at Emirates Airline Park for as long as they stayed in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament. The Lions did not disappoint their legion of fans, and secured quarter-final and semi-final wins over the Cell C Sharks and Hurricanes respectively, advancing to the final where multiple champions, the Crusaders, lay in wait. But alas, it was not to be for the Lions as a red card during the final put pay to their title aspirations.

Vodacom is all about rewarding their Red clients and, as tournament sponsor, there was an opportunity to give them something everyone wanted, but couldn’t get their hands on… tickets to the Vodacom Super Rugby Playoff games. Through two exclusive ticket activation giveaways, Vodacom rewarded 5 500 loyal Red clients with tickets to the Emirates Lions’ Vodacom Super Rugby Playoff games at Emirates Airline Park.

The first of the two activations took place at Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton. Vodacom Red clients were contacted directly beforehand to collect their tickets to the Emirates Lions vs Hurricanes game from the Lions players themselves. Is there anything better for any rugby fan than to have Emirates Lions and Springbok captain, Warren Whiteley, personally hand you your tickets to the Vodacom Super Rugby semi final?

The semi final itself was a game for the ages and will go down as one of the best comebacks in Vodacom Super Rugby history. The Emirates Lions found themselves almost 20 points down after 35 minutes of play and to say things were looking bleak, is an understatement. What followed in the second half will go down in rugby folklore as the Lions ran rampant and ended up as the convincing victors. The comeback even prompted a floored Hurricanes captain, Dane Coles, to say he backed the Lions to win the Vodacom Super Rugby title against the Crusaders. To get that kind of a comment from a New Zealand side, speaks volumes to just how much character the Lions showed on the day.

As they say, “pics or it didn’t happen”. So obviously Vodacom went along to Emirates Airline Park with our Red clients and made a video. Not just any video, though… if you want to watch the emotion play out on the faces of the fans, just watch this:

After that Emirates Lions performance in the Vodacom Super Rugby semi final, tickets for the final were snapped up faster than for a Bieber concert and were sold out within a few hours. But once again, Vodacom had an ace up the sleeve for our Red clients. Four thousand Vodacom Super Rugby final tickets were set aside exclusively for Vodacom Red clients and a second ticket giveaway activation was held at Emirates Airline Park. The queue started hours before the scheduled time as fans couldn’t wait to get their hands on tickets to witness a piece of rugby history. Once again the Emirates Lions players were on hand to personally hand out tickets to the final on Vodacom’s behalf. Considering the huge demand for tickets, Vodacom decided that four or five players just wouldn’t do, and so instead twenty players were available to personally hand out the tickets to valued Vodacom Red clients. If you want to see what a mad rush for tickets looks like, check this out:

The Vodacom Super Rugby final had it all. From plane flyovers, to fireworks, to unbelievable action on the field; everything was there. And of course, in the thick of it all were the 4 000 lucky Vodacom Red clients screaming and shouting their support for the Emirates Lions to achieve the impossible and add the Vodacom Super Rugby Trophy as the crowning glory to their many recent rugby successes. Given a little more time, the Emirates Lions just might have squeaked home, but the sands of time were not on their side as they just couldn’t recover from the earlier red card to influential Kwagga Smith. But even the disappointing outcome could not detract from the spectacle that was the Vodacom Super Rugby final. Give the video a watch and relive the roller coaster of passion and emotion our Vodacom Red clients experienced on finals day.

The end of the Vodacom Super Rugby season does not mean that Vodacom stops rewarding its Vodacom Red clients. This Currie Cup season we’ve teamed up with the Vodacom Blue Bulls to offer Vodacom Red clients who love the Blue Bulls the chance to join us at two exclusive Vodacom Red #BullsFamily events at Loftus Versfeld. The first event, the Father and Son Sleepout, took place last weekend, but you still have a chance to register for the Vodacom Red #BullsFamily Fun Day, which takes place on Saturday, 23 September at Loftus. The day will be filled with a host of family-oriented activities and everyone can enjoy live entertainment, good food and a fun day out. The best part? You can bring up to five family members with you to enjoy the day on us. To register, please click here.

Click your way through some of the best pics from the Vodacom Super Rugby playoffs.

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