The Lions are going to change their strategy slightly before they play the Sharks in a Currie Cup semifinal in Durban on Saturday.
Hennie Brandt writes in Beeld that when the teams met at the Coca-Cola Stadium here last month, Lions coach Eugene Eloff was unconcerned about the large number of Springboks in the Sharks team. He focused, instead, on the visitors as a team.
Eloff has different thoughts about this week’s match in the Absa Stadium. “We’ll pay a little more attention to certain individuals this time,” he said on Tuesday.
“I won’t mention names but everyone knows who their game-breakers are. We’re not going to play according to their strong points.”
Springbok No 8 Ryan Kankowski will obviously be one. He is in excellent form after recovering from a head injury.
The Lions are also likely to take special notice of left wing JP Pietersen, scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, centre Adrian Jacobs and allrounder Frans Steyn, all Springbok backs.
Despite all the internationals in the Sharks squad, Eloff feels the Lions can beat them. “We must only play to our potential and make sure we execute everything correctly,” he said.
The Lions begin their final preparations on Wednesday after being given Monday and Tuesday off to recover from the bruising match against Western Province last week.
“Two days of rest were just the right medicine. They have had time to recharge the batteries,” Eloff said.
He will know only on Wednesday if any players have injury problems. Left wing Trompie Nontshinga and lock forward Anton van Zyl were injured in Cape Town.
A scan has shown no serious damage to Nontshinga’s ankle and team doctor Frans Verster expects Van Zyl to be fit to partner Franco van der Merwe in the second row.
Doubts about hooker Willie Wepener’s ankle injury should also be cleared up at the practice on Wednesday afternoon. Wepener and prop forwards Heinke van der Merwe and Ross Geldehuys form an extremely important combination in the Lions team.Tweet