Lions to change approach

    2015-05-14 16:30

    Johannesburg - The Lions will adopt a different approach when they face the Brumbies in Johannesburg on Saturday.

    Lions coach Johan Ackermann admitted on Thursday that the Australian conference leaders required them to change their strategy from the one they used to defeat the Highlanders at Ellis Park a week ago.

    "I think there is difference in approach - obviously the basics of the set-pieces stay the same - the Australian sides will keep the ball for a lot of phases," Ackermann said at the Lions' team announcement.

    "Defensively, you must be patient and be disciplined.

    "The Brumbies and the Waratahs are two of the more physical Australian sides, so it will be a physical battle."

    The Johannesburg side kept their Super Rugby campaign alive with a brave display of attacking rugby against the Highlanders, which saw them run out eventual winners.

    The win allowed them to pull within three points of the Bulls in sixth place and also equal their best winning-record in a Super Rugby season.

    Ackermann said that his side would aim to finish the remaining matches of the regular season with a flourish in the hope of securing a spot in the play-offs.

    "The growth (since losing their opening three matches) has been tremendous and now we have four games to improve on that (winning) record," he said.

    "It would be great to pick up three bonus-point victories (as was the case in 2014), which saved our season last year where we ended well and hopefully we can repeat that (this season)."

    However, the Lions mentor admitted that they are in no position of talking up their chances of reaching the play-offs as they are not in control of their own destiny.

    "We are playing top quality sides in the latter part of the competition - the Cheetahs can beat any side - but apart from them all the sides starting from last weekend are in the top six.

    "If the Stormers and the Bulls keep on winning you can’t end up as conference winners so there is no use focusing on targets that we are not in control of, which is the next 80 minutes on Saturday."

    Meanwhile, Ackermann made five changes to the run-on side with flyhalf Elton Jantjies and scrumhalf Faf de Klerk back in the starting XV in the place of Marnitz Boshoff and Ross Cronje respectively.

    Boshoff will start in the Golden Lions' Vodacom Cup quarter-final against the SWD Eagles, while Jaco van der Walt will be the backup pivot on the bench for the Super Rugby clash.

    The side has been boosted by the return of Lionel Mapoe, who will be slot in on the right wing, while Ruan Combrinck shifts to the left wing.

    This means that Courtnall Skosan drops out of the match-day squad completely.

    The return of Martin Muller at lock could remedy the Lions’ woes in the lineouts as he replaces Andries Ferreira, while flank Robert Kruger earns a starting berth in the place of Warwick Tecklenburg.



    15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Lionel Mapoe, 13. Harold Vorster, 12. Alwyn Hollenbach, 11. Ruan Combrinck, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Robert Kruger, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Martin Muller, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Schalk van der Merwe

    Substitutes: 16. Armand van der Merwe, 17. Jacques van Rooyen, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. MB Lusaseni, 20. Warwick Tecklenburg, 21. Ross Cronje, 22. Jaco van der Walt, 23. Howard Mnisi


    15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Allan Alaalatoa

    Substitutes: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jarrad Butler, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Robbie Coleman

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