News24

Lions a 'fantastic' side

2011-04-14 07:52

Stephen Nell

Cape Town - Veteran flank Schalk Burger was in a generous mood on his 28th birthday on Wednesday when he described the Lions as a "fantastic side".

VIDEO: Allister Coetzee chats team selection and Lions

So fantastic are the Lions that they have lost their last 11 home games in Johannesburg in Vodacom Super Rugby. But considering the Stormers' performance against the Reds, it's probably better to carry Burger's attitude into Saturday's match at Coca-Cola Park.

Burger's Stormers team lost for the first time this year against the Reds on Saturday after kicking off with six straight victories. And now they have to guard against a downward spiral.

"Every game is important, but especially after you played so poorly the previous week. It's very important for us to bounce back before next week's bye," said Burger.

"We saw with the Sharks that their first defeat led to a slump after they were on a roll at the start. We don't want to go down the same track."

Considering the frustration that the Lions have caused the Stormers in the past, a little exaggerated respect may not be out of place.

In 2008 the Stormers had to beat the Lions with four tries to make the semi-finals, but could only score three tries in their victory and were denied the crucial log point.

Once again this week the bonus point will be just that - a bonus. As long as the Stormers just get back to winning ways.

"Next week's bye won't mean much if we don't play well this weekend," said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.

"We have to play well and then we can really enjoy the bye. It will be coming at just the right time."

Coetzee has made four changes to the side that just lost against the Reds.

Bryan Habana will be sidelined for this game with a shoulder injury. That means there is a change and positional switch in the back three.

Gio Aplon moves from fullback to left wing, with Conrad Jantjes returning at fullback.

Jantjes has played for Western Province's Vodacom Cup team the past two weekends. His boot and experience probably got him the nod over youngster JJ Engelbrecht.

De Kock Steenkamp also got the nod at lock as Rynhardt Elstadt is out with a leg injury.

Brok Harris gets a well deserved break from starting, which means that CJ van der Linde will run out as tighthead prop.

"Brok has played a lot of rugby since last year. Why not make the switch when you have a Springbok on your bench? CJ has played very well when coming on as a tighthead prop and it's important that he also gets to start," said Coetzee.

The Stormers are expected to take the Lions on in the set phases.

Last week the Lions only won 9 of their 14 lineouts against the Sharks and that is why Andries Bekker could be a trump card for the Stormers.

Coetzee also wants his team to start well and maintain good discipline throughout.

"We started well in all our games except last week's one. We have also put a lot of pressure on opponents in the set phases. It's difficult for any team to function if it does not get good possession."

Teams:

Stormers: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14Danie Poolman, 13Jaque Fourie, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (capt), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Wicus Blaauw.

Substitutes: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Anton van Zyl, 19 Nick Koster, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Johann Sadie.

Lions:
TBA


Sport24

Comments
  • Lloyd - 2011-04-14 08:05

    Go Lions!!!

      mummford - 2011-04-14 09:05

      thanks Yoda

      JohnnyBB - 2011-04-14 09:15

      ..Go Lions...!!! ...Go Lions..!!! ....Go Lions..!!! ................Go Bulls..!! ...Go Sharks..!!

      Peter Britz - 2011-04-14 09:17

      This explains all your daft comments about anything Cheetahs related... Its callled fear of being replaced by the Kings ha ha!! What a chop!!

  • milswanka - 2011-04-14 08:07

    Personally I would not describe the Lions as a "fantastic side" they would rather be a "rising side"...I am a big Lions fan and have been all my life, but when is the change coming?? Well all i can say is may the best team win!!

      Kaapie - 2011-04-14 09:48

      They will be a lot better next season

      milswanka - 2011-04-14 10:03

      Kaapie, I really hope those words come true!

  • The_Fox - 2011-04-14 08:16

    The Lions always have a good game against WP/Stormers and I think that's why Schalk steers away from being overconfident. We will have to wait and see if the Stormers can pick themselves up from last weeks diabolical performance. I will be at Ellis in the stands cheering them on - HERE WE GO STORMERS HERE WE GO!

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-14 10:11

      Yup @The_Fox - I remember flying up to Jozi in 2008 for our last fixture in the S14...we needed a bonus point win to guarantee a semi-final spot....and we couldn't score those tries...We were happy chappies leaving though as we thought we were in the semis in any event, cos hey, no ways those Sharks were going to score what was needed - rigth?...WRONG...........I will never forget that Saturday. So I hope our chaps are focused....eye of the tiger.

  • John - 2011-04-14 08:23

    Fantastically bad! This was the perfect opportunity to give Koster a run and give Dwane a well deserved rest. Bad move Alister!

  • rugby_guru - 2011-04-14 08:45

    As much as I would like the Lions to win, they have no chance... Sorry, thats the cold hard truth.

  • Airwolf - 2011-04-14 08:50

    Nice one Schalk! thats what you call pre match gobbledegook.

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-04-14 09:30

      @Marx....banana is single, not plural.

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-04-14 09:56

      Whoops...sorry about that. Pressed the wrong button. This comment should be in the next section LOL!

  • Marx - 2011-04-14 08:50

    The Fantastic Lions by 10........would have been 20+ but banana are not playing......

      JohnnyBB - 2011-04-14 09:20

      ...banana = has-been....

      milswanka - 2011-04-14 09:30

      Maybe we will see another surprise by an underdog team....but we need a flyhalf ASAP, no game maker in that position at the moment.

      Marx - 2011-04-14 10:04

      Whoops.....ja Mikey....party van ons werk ook man....sorry....bietjie haastig.

  • Airwolf - 2011-04-14 08:51

    Nice one Schalk! thats what you call pre match rugby gobbledegook.

  • Wittes - 2011-04-14 09:09

    Lions might be upto the challange

  • caleb69 - 2011-04-14 09:26

    Please just pick the right team, start with Rory and Andre and we will beat that Barbarian team, please buy Elton sooner than later, go LIONS!!!

  • Gregory - 2011-04-14 09:29

    The Lions are not a bad side; they have dominated with possession for long periods of the game. They have failed to capitalize. Although I am a Sharks supporter I feel that the Lions with a little "tweeking" of defence and getting their act together have the potential under John Mitchell to once again be a major force in SA rugby.

  • Red Lion - 2011-04-14 09:31

    FANTASTIC THEY ALWAYS WILL BE!!!! Yes we are battling to win, yes we are weaker then the other teams, but remember. Its not always going to be like this. They will rise up again. Schalkie is worried i can tell you that. Repeat of CC last year..........Watch!!! Its take 3 years to build a good team. If its like this in the 1st year where The Lions have almost out muscled most of the teams they have played but have not put the cherry ontop, next year and the one after will be just dessert!!!!

      Jacques Claasens - 2011-04-14 10:35

      @Red Lion I understand what you are saying, and I do agree with you in some part. Also believe me when I say ass a Bulls supporter I can't wait to see the Lions back as the force they once where, the only problem I have is that I have been hearing this story for six seasons now. The Lions are a young team, watch them next season and next season comes and goes with no improvement. So I hope that you are right and that we can finally see a proper Lions side again.

  • PatPion - 2011-04-14 09:34

    STORMERS!!!

  • Grunk - 2011-04-14 09:44

    Maybe with Habana out, they will see what a decent winger can do (Life is cruel but everybody knows Habana - once the world's best wing - is now way beyond his sell by date, except, of course, for Coetzee and Snorr. The stupidest thing about it is that all his rivals for the position are "black" so it's not a colour thing.

  • Hybrid - 2011-04-14 09:51

    Can someone explain to me how is possible that the Lions have played more matches than Stormers

      milswanka - 2011-04-14 10:15

      Stormers had a bye, the Lions not.

      ZAPZAP - 2011-04-14 10:17

      Jy's blerrie stupid. Die Stormers het n bye gehad.

      Hybrid - 2011-04-14 10:17

      I meant the stats that are shown above it shows the Lions has played 185 matches and the Stormers only 174

      Oukoos - 2011-04-14 13:00

      ZAPZAp, help us out here please. I also wants to know

      Raka13 - 2011-04-14 13:19

      Western Province only started playing super rugby in 1995. The Lion (Transvaal started in 1993) I think this is why, not sure. See Wikipedia Super Rugby

      Raka13 - 2011-04-14 13:19

      Western Province only started playing super rugby in 1995. The Lion (Transvaal started in 1993) I think this is why, not sure. See Wikipedia Super Rugby

      JohnnyBB - 2011-04-14 14:10

      ...Die stormers het gelukkig nie hulle BYE verloor nie...

  • Jacques Claasens - 2011-04-14 10:24

    Interesting Statistics, the Lions have scored more point since the start of the competition although having played a few more games there Average number of tries per match isn't far of that of the Stormers. So since the Start of the competition their weakness has been defense. Strange how this has not improved over the years, if it is such an obvious issue. Playing the best defensive team in the competition and being a neutral, I must say Stormers to win, but not by to far 5-8 points. One question though, how did the Lions come to play more 9 games than the Stormers?

  • Jacques Claasens - 2011-04-14 10:28

    Interesting Statistics, the Lions have scored more point since the start of the competition although having played a few more games there Average number of tries per match isn't far of that of the Stormers. So since the Start of the competition their weakness has been defense. Strange how this has not improved over the years, if it is such an obvious issue. Playing the best defensive team in the competition and being a neutral, I must say Stormers to win, but not by to far 5-8 points. One question though, how did the Lions come to play more 9 games than the Stormers?

  • Jacques Claasens - 2011-04-14 10:28

    Interesting Statistics, the Lions have scored more point since the start of the competition although having played a few more games there Average number of tries per match isn't far of that of the Stormers. So since the Start of the competition their weakness has been defense. Strange how this has not improved over the years, if it is such an obvious issue. Playing the best defensive team in the competition and being a neutral, I must say Stormers to win, but not by to far 5-8 points. One question though, how did the Lions come to play more 9 games than the Stormers?

  • Jacques Claasens - 2011-04-14 10:37

    Interesting Statistics, the Lions have scored more point since the start of the competition although having played a few more games there Average number of tries per match isn't far of that of the Stormers. So since the Start of the competition their weakness has been defence. I find it strange how this has yet to improve over the years, if it is such an obvious issue. Playing the best defensive team in the competition and being a neutral, I must say Stormers to win, but not by to far 5-8 points. One question though, how did the Lions come to play more 9 games than the Stormers?

  • Jacques Claasens - 2011-04-14 10:39

    My apologies for the duplicates.

      YB Normal - 2011-04-14 12:26

      The Lions have not yet have their bye weekend, the Stormers started with a bye in week one

      Jacques Claasens - 2011-04-14 12:42

      @YB Normal, no the Total games played in the Competition from the start of the Super 10; The Lions Played 185 and the Stormers Played 174?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-14 12:52

      @Jacques - The Stormers/or Western Stormers as we were known back then, did not play in the first edition of the competition.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-14 12:53

      @Jaques, it was the Super 10 back then - 9 games more for the Lions (that one season)

      Raka13 - 2011-04-14 13:19

      Western Province only started playing super rugby in 1995. The Lions (Transvaal started in 1993) I think this is why, not sure. See Wikipedia Super Rugby

      anthony85 - 2011-04-14 13:45

      You guys are all wrong, the amount of games shown above is from Super 12 onwards, the Stormers/WP did not play one year of Super 12 in either 97 or 98, because only the top four teams in the currie cup qualified for super rugby that year, the difference of 11 games is exactly one full season in the old super 12, I'm a Lions supporter, don't ask me how I knew that.

      anthony85 - 2011-04-14 13:45

      You guys are all wrong, the amount of games shown above is from Super 12 onwards, the Stormers/WP did not play one year of Super 12 in either 97 or 98, because only the top four teams in the currie cup qualified for super rugby that year, the difference of 11 games is exactly one full season in the old super 12, I'm a Lions supporter, don't ask me how I knew that.

      anthony85 - 2011-04-14 13:45

      You guys are all wrong, the amount of games shown above is from Super 12 onwards, the Stormers/WP did not play one year of Super 12 in either 97 or 98, because only the top four teams in the currie cup qualified for super rugby that year, the difference of 11 games is exactly one full season in the old super 12, I'm a Lions supporter, don't ask me how I knew that.

      anthony85 - 2011-04-14 13:46

      You guys are all wrong, the amount of games shown above is from Super 12 onwards, the Stormers/WP did not play one year of Super 12 in either 97 or 98, because only the top four teams in the currie cup qualified for super rugby that year, the difference of 11 games is exactly one full season in the old super 12, I'm a Lions supporter, don't ask me how I knew that.

      anthony85 - 2011-04-14 13:47

      You guys are all wrong, the amount of games shown above is from Super 12 onwards, the Stormers/WP did not play one year of Super 12 in either 97 or 98, because only the top four teams in the currie cup qualified for super rugby that year, the difference of 11 games is exactly one full season in the old super 12, I'm a Lions supporter, don't ask me how I knew that.

      Jacques Claasens - 2011-04-14 13:59

      Thanks to all, know I also know lol. Makes sense though, just can't understand how I didn't know that in the first place

  • Oukoos - 2011-04-14 13:07

    Teoreties behoort die Stormers gemaklik te wen, want man vir man is die STormers sterker. Maar na verlede Saterdag is ek bra skrikkerig. As die Stormers weer eens besluit om slegs op die foute van die teenstanders te teer, kan ons tweede depressiewe Saterdagaand in 'n ry hĂȘ.

      The_Fox - 2011-04-14 16:18

      Stem saam Koos. Dit gese, ek is ook bekommerd oor Jantjes op heelagter. Behalwe 'n groot skopper van die bal uit hand is hy baie huiwerig na hy sy been gebreek het.. Die feit dat Allister hom gekies het maak nie vir my sin nie, ek sou veel eerder vir arme Lionel daar ingespan het. Of wat dink jy van Appels op heelagter en JJ in BH se plek?

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