Lack of NZ games won’t affect Lions - Plumtree

    2017-07-26 11:16

    Cape Town - Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree doesn't think the Lions will suffer too much from not having faced a New Zealand team ahead of the teams’ Super Rugby quarter-final in Johannesburg.

    Saturday’s clash at Ellis Park will be the first time the Lions have met a Kiwi side in this year's competition and earlier this week former Springbok flyhalf Joel Stransky said it could be a problem for the hosts.

    "I'm really concerned they haven't played any New Zealand teams yet," Stransky told New Zealand’s Radio Sport.

    Stransky continued: "If you're not playing the best teams, like the Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders you're not testing yourself. You're not stepping up when it matters and when you do have to play those teams in a one-off knockout game it's going to be very tough to catch up with the pace of game, style of play and different set of pressure that comes your way."

    But Plumtree disagrees with Stransky, telling the website: "They've played us enough, they'll know what to expect from us. If you look at the last three games we've played they were certainly a lot tougher than the last three they've played but in a semi-final like this, a big game, I don't think that's going to be a massive factor at all."

    Last year, the Hurricanes beat the Lions 50-17 in Johannesburg and also beat them 20-3 in the final in Wellington.

    Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 14:30.

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