Vodacom Super 14

Lions best chance of tour win

2010-03-11 22:30
Cobus Grobbelaar (Gallo Images)
Pieter Jordaan

Johannesburg – The Lions Super 14 rugby team want to achieve on Friday what the Sharks should have done last week.

The Waratahs host the Lions in Sydney – the same city where the Waratahs last week to some degree had referee Paul Marks to thank for their narrow win over the Sharks.

Had it not been for that, the Waratahs would have lost to a third South African opponent in 2010 after being beaten by the Stormers and Bulls on tour.

If the Waratahs play the same style of rugby as they did against the Sharks, the exciting Lions side may well emerge triumphant.

However, the Lions will have to deliver a more complete performance to win after four defeats.

Cohesion was a problem against the Stormers, defence tripped them up against the Chiefs and Hurricanes, and last week against the Brumbies discipline was a problem.

The Lions improved in at least one aspect of their game in each match, but then messed up in another.

While the Waratahs and Lions are both keen to attack, the chances are good that the contest will be determined up front.

Just about the entire Waratahs starting line-up are Test players and up front it is only lock Kane Douglas and flanker Dave Dennis that have not played many Tests.

However, the Lions loose-trio have been standing their ground. Todd Clever, Derick Minnie and Cobus Grobbelaar will not stand back for Phil Waugh and Co.

The Lions’ lineout impressed against the Brumbies and there is hope that the scrums will improve now that Heinke van der Merwe, Hannes Franklin and Ross Geldenhuys are back in the front row.

The Lions’ fourth and fifth games on tour will be against the Crusaders and Highlanders.

Friday’s match will probably be their best chance of winning on tour in 2010.


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