Vodacom Super 14

Lions to keep attacking

2010-02-23 22:32
Burton Francis (Gallo Images)
Pieter Jordaan

Johannesburg – Hold on to your seats, because the Lions are not about to abandon their carefree approach to Super 14 rugby.

Friday’s try-fest between the Lions and Chiefs at Coca-Cola Park, which the Chiefs won 72-65, has elicited plenty of debate.

Both teams have been criticised for their poor defence, while the Lions are also being criticised for trying to beat a team renowned for its attacking play with running rugby.

Not that the Lions had any choice but to run when they were trailing 25-65 after 63 minutes.

Coach Dick Muir said that the Lions would stick to this approach when they take on the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.

“We want to use the new law interpretations to our advantage and play rugby. We obviously neglected our defensive pattern and have to improve on that,” said Muir, adding that the Lions had a tough defensive drill during their first training session in Wellington.

“But we are busy with a process and all we want to see is continued improvement in our play.”

The Lions were greeted by sunny weather in Wellington and bonus points may well come into play again if the conditions are similar on Saturday.

However, Lions supporters will be holding their collective breath.

Like the Chiefs, the Hurricanes possess some of the best attackers in the Super 14.

If the Lions do not manage to disrupt the Hurricanes’ rhythm, Ma’a Nonu and Co will post a big score.

“The Hurricanes had a good pre-season and also started with two wins, so they are tough opponents,” said Muir.

“On top of that they are a team full of superstars, so we will have to be on our toes.”

Jetlag may well count against the Lions, but Muir says the medical team have worked on a routine to combat that.

Muir is expected to rotate his touring squad during their run of five games overseas and some of the moves may already occur on Saturday.

An older player like Carlos Spencer (flyhalf) will not be able to play in all the games, so Burton Francis should get enough opportunities on tour.

Willem Stoltz (lock) and Jonathan Mokuena (substitute loose forward) are the players that have to be replaced in the 22-man squad. They are expected to be replaced by Jacques Lombard and Robert Kruger respectively.


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