Johannesburg - The Lions will have an anxious wait until Friday afternoon to know if they can play their star flanker Jaco Kriel in Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby showdown with the Stormers.
Kriel took a knock to the arm during training this week and it was decided that the flanker would be given as much time as possible to prove his fitness for the weekend’s match.
No indication has been given who will come into the starting line-up if Kriel is ruled out, but it is likely to be one of Ruan Ackermann or Cyle Brink, both of whom are on the bench.
Coach Johan Ackermann named exactly the same side that beat the Sharks so easily in Durban, but was full of praise for the Stormers ahead of the big match.
“Defensively you always have to praise the Stormers, they’ve done well this whole season. On the log if you look at points difference they have given away less points than anyone,” Ackermann said.
“When you look at them you can see they have changed their ability with ball in hand, they will take more risks with those x-factor players they have. They also have those structures in place that have been there for a number of years. Their scrums are strong, lineouts are strong and are a good mauling side as well as defence.”
Ackermann smiled when suggestions came that the other teams – and Stormers in particular – were trying to mimic the Lions style of play, but underlined the fact that the Lions feel the Stormers are dangerous opposition indeed.
“I know the philosophy of the new coaches. They want to change the philosophy of their own unions but they also have their own flavour that they want to put in there. I don’t think every coach will have the same philosophy but if we had anything to do with it,that is great.
“I think the Stormers haven’t moved away from their good structures and phases, but you do definitely see there are a lot of changes coming from Robbie as he is a coach that plays a different style as well. It is good to see it, it makes the challenge so much more difficult to see there is a team that has the ability to attack you.
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