Johannesburg - The Golden Lions have a home Currie Cup semi-final in the bag but will be looking to do some fine tuning when they host Western Province at Ellis Park on Friday (18:00 kick-off).
The table-topping team have shown no signs of slowing down but instead romped to their eighth consecutive victory with a 73-31 demolition of the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last weekend.
Despite having already claimed a home semi-final, Lions coach Johan Ackermann insists they will not approach the WP match with less intensity.
“We obviously have the home semi now and we still have a bit of work to do if we get to a final,” Ackermann said.
“The season is not done yet and we still have two games to go and we will take it from there.”
While the Lions have the luxury of making finer adjustments before the start of the playoffs in three weeks’ time, Western Province need a victory to keep their hopes of clinching a home semi-final alive.
Ackermann says the match will also be an opportunity for some of the players to stake a claim for a spot ahead of the semi-finals.
“We haven’t spoken about the playoffs yet and it’s all been about the week lying ahead and there are positions to play for as only 22 players will play in the playoffs,” he said.
Lions captain Jaco Kriel has echoed his coach’s sentiments and feels that despite the scoreline, their performance against the Cheetahs was not quite as polished as they would have liked it to be.
“You can always take some good and bad out of a performance, we played well at times but we let them in too easily to get points,” Kriel said.
“We are looking to play good rugby but to try and stay focussed for the whole 80 minutes after the weekend where we didn’t control the game as well as we could.”
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Stephan de Witt, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Lourens Erasmus, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.
Substitutes: 16 Mark Pretorius, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Fabian Booysen, 19 Albertus Smith, 20 Jaco van der Walt, 21 Stokkies Hanekom, 22 Sampie Mastriet
15. Cheslin Kolbe/Dillyn Leyds, 14. Dillyn Leyds/Kobus van Wyk, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12. Juan de Jongh (captain), 11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6. Chris Cloete, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Wilco Louw, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Michael Willemse, 17. Oli Kebble, 18. Chris van Zyl, 19. Jurie van Vuuren, 20. Godlen Masimla, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Huw Jones