The Lions are anticipating a massive onslaught up front from the Stormers in Saturday’s Super14 rugby match at Newlands in Cape Town.
“They have their backs to the wall and, like us, have to win. They have played only one more game than us. I anticipate they will try to maintain a quick tempo against us,” said Lions coach Eugene Eloff.
“A win at Newlands will bring us back into the race. The only thing we are thinking about is getting four points for a victory at Newlands. Once we have made sure of that we can go hunting for the bonus point.”
Hennie Brandt writes in Beeld that Tuesday’s training session points to former Cheetahs player Barry Goodes making his debut for the Lions in place of Doppies la Grange, who is recovering from injury. Goodes came knocking on the Lions’ door after a spell in Europe, and was a good player in his days as a Cheetahs centre. Another option would be to deploy a strong runner such as Jannie Boshoff in the No 12 jersey.
The Lions’ medical team is also confident that former Springbok lock Jannes Labuschagne will be fit to play the Stormers after recovering from a knee injury.
“Jannes is ready,” said Eloff.
He did not want to say anything about the Newlands crowd, though, which will place added pressure on Jean de Villiers’s side. Thousands of Cape Town fans are regularly disappointed by the Stormers’ inability to get good results, and they will be eager for their side to get on the winning track after the weekend’s defeat to the Bulls.
“Every team experiences pressure in its own stadium because supporters have high expectations,” said Eloff.
“At Newlands the crowd may be noisier. But they can also motivate their side.”Tweet